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Accountability – Seems everyone’s confused, so no one does anything (and our country burns)

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

Home » Accountability – Seems everyone’s confused, so no one does anything (and our country burns)
Bush Fires 2020

‘Accountability’ is a powerful word, yet most don’t know what it means.

Having worked with plenty of entrepreneurial businesses owners, executives and teams, there’s one topic that is always difficult to discuss, that being the A-word ‘accountability’. Not from me, that’s what I do, I’m ‘The Accountability Guy’.

I’m keen to talk about the devil in the room and to call out when it’s needed.

However, many people don’t understand what accountability is, why it’s essential, or where it starts – nor can most spell it correctly.

For me, in a commercial and entrepreneurial context, the word ACCOUNTABILITY means – “doing what you say you are going to do and getting your team to do the same”.

Most organisations understand that accountability is essential, it is a buzzword that is starting to appear and get used more regularly. Most don’t know how to create a culture of accountability within their organisation, so they adopt ‘hope’. Hoping it will happen by itself, telling their managers and the board of management that they have got accountability rolled into their businesses, and it’s good to go.

Wrong. Fake-news, this is total BS.

A simple example of BS and a really easy point to demonstrate what I’m saying is the issue of say ‘climate change’.

It took a 16-year old to stop the world and have them listen. Swedish Schoolgirl Greta Thunberg is the young woman who put her face to climate change debate, and I’m so grateful that she did.

Greta Thunberg had an angry message for world leaders at the United Nations climate summit in New York late last year. Greta said; “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones.”

“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”

The summit was touted as a chance for the world to finally get its climate action on the track.

So, who is keeping our politicians accountable for the promises and actions concerning climate change? No one, so guess what happened? Well, nothing.

There should be no surprises that we in Australia aka ‘the lucky country’ are currently experiencing devastating bush fires; where millions of square kilometres are burning.

We have brave, and courageous ‘firies’ putting their own lives at risk, to save ours. To keep our property safe and protect our possessions. Ocean water temperatures are continually increasing and, today as I write this blog, the air quality in Melbourne was rated ‘as the worst’ in the entire world. Tomorrow will be the same and so with the day after.

We learnt in the media that many world experts in the areas of emergency services, fire management, led by elders representing Traditional Custodians and Owners of the land, wrote reports and made recommendations to the politicians. Yes, our State Premiers and to the PM himself, that we will a have a significant ‘fire problem’ that will occur this summer. It will devastate our country, there will be a loss of life and processions, it will cause irreparable damage to our environment and can never be reversed. This will cost $ billions.

Apparently, upon hearing this, our politicians said YES, they would do look into it and do something; of course, they did!

But other stuff got put onto the pile of outstanding things, many balls were being juggled at once (yes, we understand that in our businesses too) they too, got distracted by bright shiny objects, easy diversions to find gratification along the way. They chose to do this other stuff first, instead of creating a plan with a list of priorities, taking all into account by a selected date with progress milestones along the way.

There’s a jolly good reason why we set priorities, starting at the top with the most important thing first and work our way through the list to the least important. Underpin your plan and priorities by engaging someone holds you to account along the way, will ensure that implementation and execution occurs, that it’s on track, timely to meet your obligations, promises, goals and commitments made to themselves and others because you cannot do it alone.

We know how the unfortunate story is unfolding this far.

These politicians were NEVER held to ACCOUNT. No one kept them accountable to ensure they acted on those recommendations that were submitted by experts many months earlier.

You’d think that delivering on those THINGS YOU SAY YOU ARE GOING TO DO when you were elected, would be on the top of the list. Perhaps, one of the very first activities that they’d get stuck into, which demonstrate to the voters, that they keep their promises. They appreciate the voters’ support and faith in selecting them.
But NO.

Politicians, just like many business entrepreneurial business owners, know they need to meet the obligations, promises, goals and commitments made to themselves and others. Still, the reality is that they (YOU) cannot do it alone.

Reality is that no one can. We, as humans, NEED to have someone to hold us to account. Someone you trust that will call you out – pull you up to give you a kick in the pants when you need it. Someone, who provides encouragement, support and counsel with the achievement of your goals at the top of mind. Someone to ensure you follow the plan in the order of the priorities, which have been agreed, and set.

That’s precisely how I can help…

I’ve worked with plenty of entrepreneurial businesses owners, executives and teams over many years to hold them and their teams to account to do the things they say they are going to do. My unique hands-on, one-on-one approach where I roll-up my sleeves to get down and dirty to ensure my clients implement and execute to Get Shit Done.

It really helps to spend 10-years with Apple during the inspirational Steve Jobs era, as ‘Manager of Commercial Markets’ under my belt. Not forgetting, I’ve got tons of knowledge and a loaded playbook from my own sea change; where I ran my own 15-years ran my own entrepreneurial lifestyle with my business partner. We managed teams to service our esteemed clients (mostly, the who’s who of Australian business).

Our business was spread across our two locations and business divisions.

I definitely ‘I walk the talk’ having walked in your path and navigated your waters before. In 2017, we successfully exited and sold our business so I’ve also got the knowledge of a successful business exit in my playbook as well.

With all of this substantial experience in both big and small business, I find the one topic, one word that is difficult to discuss with many business owners… that being the A-word: ‘Accountability’.

But not me, as a successful Accountability Coach that’s precisely what I do – I talk about the devil in the room, and I’ll call clients out when it’s warranted.

Most business people don’t truly understand and get confused as to what accountability is, why it’s important, or where it starts, and nor can they spell it correctly.

Being in business, we get that accountability is important, largely because that A-word is continually dropped into conversations. Sadly, most business owners don’t know how to create a culture of accountability within their organisations, so they just hope it will happen.

Others believe they can keep themselves accountable. So, they go and give it a try on their own. They do this until they realise, they cannot do it alone. They are not making inroads, and the strategy of hope simply does not fix the issues.

In fact, doing it yourself, waiting to see if it improves aka sticking your head in the sand only makes it worse, right politicians? Yes, that is right. We’ve witnessed and experienced first-hand this summer that you’ll just waste more time, cost money, miss opportunities’ and piss people off (including yourself) in the process.

Doing nothing and merely hoping it will sort its self out, definitely does not work either, so forget that. Hope is not a strategy; hope is a disaster waiting to happen.

Creating a plan is the start of a strategy, setting priorities with timelines, implementing and executing in a timely fashion is key, having someone to hold you to account on a regular basis, ticking those boxes to ensure you are doing precisely what you say you will do, with dates, is the simplest way to make it work.

If you want to create certainty in your life, stop hoping for things to come true and start acting on the intentions you have and make it come true!

No way will you read about hope in any of the business books written by Richard Branson, Gary Vaynerchuk, Andrew Griffiths or Daniel Priestley!

Accountability is the key, and as business people when we hear the A-word, we usually shudder at the thought, as what we do know is that we must ‘step-up’ and be responsible for something! Well now is the time.

You see, there is a difference between accountability and responsibility, they are cousins, but not the same. Let me explain: You are responsible for things and you are accountable to people.

It is essential that if you want to get stuff done, you will need to engage a person with whom we can work, someone in a central role to hold you to account.

Photo Credit: AP Photo

DELIVERING WHAT YOU PROMISE and getting your team to do the same

Do you meet the obligations, promises, goals and commitments made to yourself and to others?

The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study in 2010 on accountability and found out that the probability of completing a goal is:

  • 10% – If you have an idea or a goal actually.
  • 25% – If you consciously decide you will do it.
  • 40% – If you decide when you will do it.
  • 50% – If you plan how you will do it.
  • 65% – If you commit to someone, you will do it.
  • 95% – If you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to.

After reading this, how likely are you to achieve your; goals, promises, obligations and commitments alone? Book your FREE Unboxing Session with me ‘The Accountability Guy’ and we’ll examine exactly where you’re at, what’s worked and what hasn’t, and we’ll take a look at your priorities to set the path moving forward. Each Unboxing Session includes:

  • 60-90min obligation-free Zoom chat about your goals, promises and commitments
  • Examine your priorities
  • Review your ‘To-Do List’ and we’ll dig-in to how you will implement
  • Together, we will create a plan and set timelines

Click here to BOOK now.

For more information visit: https://tickthoseboxes.com.au or call me directly: +61 418-379 369.