“Accept responsibility for your actions. Be accountable for your results. Take ownership of your mistakes.” – Anonymous
These days, starting a business to many is more of a lifetime achievement than it is a lifelong responsibility as many entrepreneurs tend to miss it too early from the start. In fact, Medium writer, Cody Musser in his post, The 3 Types of Startup Founders to Avoid (and One to Not) described how being a founder of a company is an item on the life-fulfillment checklist of many in the society or today.
American author and speaker, Michael Hyatt also shared that everyone wants to be a leader. However, few are prepared to accept the accountability that goes with it. But you can’t have one without the other. They are two sides of the same coin. But what is accountability? It is the willingness to take and accept responsibility for every of your actions and results; the good, the bad, and the ugly. With the increasing demands and complexity in the day-to-day running of a business, staying on track to your vision for success can be a real challenge for the entrepreneur.
Although these employers have built-in systems that keep their employees accountable to them.Sadly, many small business owners usually do not prove themselves accountable to anyone – investors, team members, or anyone involved in the business, especially when the business is not delivering desirable outcome.
When leaders accept personal accountability, it means they are willing to answer for the outcomes of their choices, behaviors, and actions in all situations in which they are involved. They don’t blame others, neither do they blame the external environment. For leaders, there are always things you could have done, or can still do to change the outcome.
As a leader, you are not only accountable for the decisions you make, but you are also accountable for the decisions you do not make. Likewise, you are not only accountable for the outcome of your choices, but also for the outcomes of those you are leading. The Holy Scripture also says, “I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock.” When a leader begins to pass the blame to his followers, his leadership will eventually crumble. This is one thing I have seen common to some notable leaders globally, who have managed to convince many about their leadership styles and strategies, however, in the reality are poor leaders.
Roger Andersen, author of The Executive Calling wrote in his book that “strong leaders accept responsibility. They own the results. If a leader does not deliver acceptable results, he should credibly determine how to change course, step down, or accept a decision for someone with a new vision.” But from my experience working with and studying many small business owners, I am still somewhat amazed that even with the involvement of investors and shareholders, many of them still struggle to stay accountable.
Accountability in your small business makes you more proactive rather than being reactive in managing your business and often allows you to prioritize your business growth rather than procrastinate. In short, it is as much as an inside game for the business as much as it is an outside game – especially once you have an accountability system in place.