Accountability is a requirement of every organization, and as an individual, it is also important to learn how to be accountable.
Many people today run away from responsibilities.
There are different reasons why they might take this decision or indecision.
It could be that they feel incapable of carrying out such responsibilities.
At other times, this might just be because they do not want to be held accountable for their actions or inactions.
However, the need to be responsible and accountable cannot be taken for granted.
In fact, a lot of employers seek this when recruiting people to work for them.
It is actually not hard to see why this is so.
This is because having a sense of accountability sets people up for success.
Also, you would not have to take responsibility for the actions of those who are accountable.
This is because they do this themselves.
It has also been proven to be an essential ingredient for high job efficiency.
That being said, it is worth noting that you do not only need to be accountable for the sake of being employable.
Rather, accountability is a quality you need to develop for your personal growth and development.
In this article, we will be considering what being accountable really means.
Additionally, you will learn why cultivating the quality of accountability is very important both in your personal and professional life.
In conclusion, we will outline all the measures you can take in order to be accountable, starting immediately.
What Does it Mean to Be Accountable?
Being accountable can be defined as having the obligation to justify and take responsibility for one’s actions.
It is a form of ethics that involves taking the blame, being answerable, and having the expectation to give accounts.
This is very commonplace in governance, whereby those who are in high positions of authority operate with the knowledge that they will give accounts for their actions and inactions.
And this in turn has helped to get transparency out of government officials for many years, and also improve their contributions.
In the business setting as well, accountability is very important.
If you are a business owner, you no doubt have would give out a lot of duties and responsibilities to your employees.
Therefore, if you are going to get them to be at their best and also take responsibility for their actions, they need to be accountable.
You would definitely not be happy with employees who refuse to take responsibility for their actions but rather choose to pitch the blame on others.
As important as all these are, personal accountability in life is more important.
If you are personally accountable, it means you take full ownership for whatever situation you are in life.
Personal accountability means that you take full responsibility for the decisions you make and whatever comes out of them.
If you are personally accountable, you do not look for excuses to shy away from the events happening in your life or blame others for it.
On the contrary, you understand that you and only you are responsible for whatever trajectory your life takes, and work your socks off to make it better.
Importance of Being Accountable
As mentioned earlier, one of the qualities that top employers look out for before hiring new employees is accountability.
This is because they understand how vital this is to business growth and success.
Accountability is also important for personal growth and success so you need to be accountable in the personal life decisions you make, and also at your place of work.
The importance or benefits of being accountable that we will now consider will cover both being accountable in your personal life and also professionally.
Some of the benefits that come with being accountable are:
Being Accountable Makes You More Responsible
Accountability and responsibility actually go hand in hand.
In fact, a lot of times, these two qualities are used interchangeably.
This is because when you are accountable, it also makes you take up more responsibility for your actions.
On the other hand, people who are not accountable tend to run away from their responsibilities and prefer to leave them to others.
Whereas when you are accountable, you tend to take charge of all responsibilities in your personal life and workplace, overcoming challenges to reach your goals.
It Helps You Overcome Challenges and Obstacles Easily
When working to reach your goals, dreams, and life aspirations, you will definitely be met with challenges and obstacles.
It is important for you to believe that these are expected and you have what it takes to overcome them.
However, the only way you can successfully take challenges head-on, giving it all it takes to succeed is if you are accountable.
Without accountability, it is easy to crumble and give up when faced with challenges along the way.
Instead of owning up to them and consciously seeking solutions to these, you might start to blame others for these.
You might even feel that your success is dependent on other factors outside your control.
It Makes You Best Placed for Career Opportunities and Networking
When you are accountable, people are generally more willing to get close to you and do business with you.
You will be more favorable to employers seeking candidates for job positions in their organizations.
Not only that, but it also affords you the opportunity to connect more with people and add them to your network.
On the contrary, when you come off as one who hardly takes responsibility for his actions or someone who doesn’t feel he has control over his life, you might scare people away from you.
This is because that negative mindset has the tendency to impede one’s progress in life.
As a result, fewer people might want to associate with you.
It Helps Improve Your Job Performance and Productivity
In an organization where there is no accountability, a lot of important duties and responsibilities are left unattended.
This is because people are not answerable for what they do or do not do.
Therefore, in such organizations, it is not uncommon to find low job performance and productivity.
On the other hand, when you are accountable, you naturally step up your work performance and get productive.
Even when you are given corrections or criticisms, you take this in its stride.
Instead of letting it dampen your zeal, you see such feedback as a needed impetus to launch greater things.
In that way, being accountable can help you increase your work productivity and be desirable to your employers.
It Helps You Take Control of Your Life
A lot of people today are confused about where they are headed.
They might have a purpose in life, but they do not believe that they have all it takes to get there.
For many of these ones, they prefer to leave the control of their lives in the hands of family members, either immediate or distant.
And because of that, when they fall short of their goals, instead of taking responsibility they end up putting the blame on others.
On the contrary, when you are accountable, you do not wait for someone else to define what you become.
Instead, you take full control of your life and make decisions that will push you towards realizing your goals.
It Helps You Avoid Distractions
One other thing that comes with accountability is being focused.
Even if you are someone who struggles to stay focus on assigned tasks or personal duties, when you hold yourself accountable, you will definitely improve.
You are more likely to be able to easily avoid distractions that come along your way and maintain focus accordingly.
Accountability Helps You Be More Trustworthy
Because accountability goes alongside transparency, it helps to build a lot of personal and business relationships.
This is so because trust is essential to the success of all kinds of relationships.
And in order for you to build trust or for people to trust you more, it is essential that you are straightforward, transparent, and accountable.
Whether you are looking to build a relationship at home, at work, with friends e.t.c., this is very integral to your success.
Being Accountable Can Help You Develop New Skills and Grow
With accountability comes the drive and willingness to go out of your way and get better.
Not just in your workplace but also in your personal life.
During the process of showing this commitment, you are exposed to a lot of new things, by way of opportunities and challenges.
These in turn can help you develop new skills and help you in your personal growth.
On the other hand, when there is no accountability, you are often stuck in a particular position as far as progress is concerned.
This would definitely not help your personal growth and development.
How to Be Accountable – What Can Help and How to Show Accountability
Do you sometimes find yourself struggling to be accountable?
Maybe you refuse to take responsibility for your actions and rather apportion the blame to others.
It might also be that you do not have enough focus to see your tasks through and a lack of accountability is responsible.
If so, know that being accountable is something that is very achievable.
We are going to discuss some of the measures you can take and strategies to put in place to ensure you develop accountability right away. Here are a few of them:
One of the reasons why you are not accountable might be because you do not set goals.
Setting goals work awesomely in keeping people focused and adequately motivated to pursue them.
When you set goals, you give yourself the responsibility of doing all it takes to reach those goals. Hence, you develop accountability for what you do towards realizing your goals.
On the other hand, if you do not have goals clearly defined before you, it would be hard for you to hold responsible for anything.
Without goals, there is nothing to work on or look forward to.
Hence, you just take life each day as it comes without really getting value or a real purpose in life.
And that is where the lack of accountability comes in.
When setting goals though, it is important that you break them down into short-term goals. This would make them easily achievable and make you more accountable.
Plan Each Day Properly Using To-Do List
Another challenge to being accountable is not having your tasks and responsibilities properly defined and organized.
Why this is essential is that there would always be overwhelming tasks before you, and you might sometimes be confused about which ones to do.
When this happens, the best thing to do is break them up into small milestones or simple to-do lists.
When you make simple to-do lists, you can focus on the most important tasks first and tick them off your list when you complete them.
This wouldn’t weigh you down and you are able to take more responsibility for your actions and get accountable.
Avoid Blaming Others for Your Failures
The real meaning of accountability is actually taking ownership of your actions, be they good or bad.
Therefore, if you want to be accountable, it is very important that you understand that you are the one solely responsible for how your life turns out, by the actions and decisions you make.
Therefore, it is best to avoid quickly apportioning blames to others for what goes wrong in your life.
These ones might be close family members like your parents, or siblings, it might also be friends, colleagues, or employers.
The moment you begin to own up to the choices you make in life and know that you are the one responsible for how things turn out, you are on the right track of gaining accountability.
Review Your Progress Regular
In a bid to be more responsible, you most likely have a schedule and outline of your goals, objectives, and duties.
To show that you are accountable, you would need to review how well you are making progress.
After all, if you are working in an organization and your team leader wants to hold you accountable, they need to consider such reports.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be out of place to deploy this to measure your personal accountability.
When reviewing the progress you’ve made, you would need to consider your plans and goals in conjunction with your actions.
You can do this at intervals, maybe daily, weekly, monthly, or annually, depending on your choice.
Your interest should be in seeing how far you’ve been able to stick with your schedule and plans.
And that is you making yourself accountable.
Don’t Whine About Your Weakness or Limitations; Work on Them Instead
A person who regularly complains about his weaknesses or limitations cannot achieve accountability.
Those are the type of people who refuse to try, and rather blame their failures on not having enough resources or not good enough.
In that vein, it is essential that you have the right view of whatever weaknesses or limitations you have.
Instead of using them as an excuse to stop trying, try to see how you can work to improve them.
If you are struggling with a task at work, you can ask for the help of someone who is more experienced.
Alternatively, you can also take up courses in that area to sharpen your skills.
When you do this, instead of complaining about your lot in life, you will see quick improvements in those weak areas.
And before long, you are taking more responsibility for your set targets and being more accountable.
Remove the Distractions
This particular point is very important when looking to achieve personal accountability in your professional journey.
There are various things that tend to affect your productivity at work.
While a lack of motivation might be culpable, many times distractions are also responsible for this.
This might be making you fall short of reaching your set targets and goals and eventually make you shift responsibility.
Therefore, in a bid to be accountable, you would need to identify what is causing your distractions and remove them.
In some cases, this might be chatting with your colleagues or friends.
You can let them know when you need to work and emphasize that you do not want distractions.
At other times, it might be your mobile phone causing you distractions, and you can also take care of this.
Whatever you do, the goal is to take away those distractions that are affecting your productivity.
The result is success and a heightened sense of accountability.
Ask for Help and Support
Regardless of how hard we try, sometimes the task of making ourselves personally accountable might be a difficult one.
You might find that having a close friend or associate that also has high motivation can help.
When you interact with such ones, they can help you in being more responsible and accountable.
Make Resolutions and Positive Affirmations Your Thing
Making positive affirmations and resolutions is very essential in driving motivation levels and also making one more accountable.
One thing you can do to leverage the power of these is by keeping your environment surrounded by those resolutions and affirmations.
Some people find it helpful to write them out and place them at strategic areas in their bedrooms, so it becomes the first they see when they wake up.
The role of this is that when you constantly have such before you, it motivates you.
It gives you the needed impetus to pursue your goals and take up more accountability for them.
How to Be Accountable – Conclusion
So far, we have seen how important having personal accountability is both for your personal life and also in your workplace.
If you show yourself accountable, it is easier to build relationships, attract great opportunities and also be successful in your life’s ambitions.
Having seen these benefits, why not take the step now to start on your journey of being accountable, and watch how it changes your life for the best.