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Why Do You Struggle To Achieve Accountability?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

Worried transgender woman looking for financial bills at home

You shoulder several responsibilities when you own a business or work in a corporation.

In your own business, you have to run the show single-handedly. Every decision you make has an impact, whether good or bad. While you reap the rewards of your business’ success, it is not always easy to be confident about every decision you make.

So, if the business fails, you fail too, and a lack of accountability is to blame for that. It affects your optimism, takes away control, and prevents you from bouncing back from the brink of failure.

At some point, everybody has struggled with accountability. Maybe somebody on the team is not working the way they should. Their behavior may be contrary to everything that is expected from them, and their goals are impacted. However, that is not the case every time.

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Why is Accountability so Difficult to Achieve in a Commercial Space?

In many cases, the person displaying an odd behavior may be a high performer. They may have different expectations regarding their objectives, goals, and other metrics. Since their performance can’t be isolated, it impacts the team.

Thus, bringing you to the question. How do you deal with such a situation?

Nobody likes to discuss someone’s behavior as feelings can be hurt in the process. You maybe also have to face some degree of defensiveness, and things can get out of control.

While such reactions are natural, the situation may become awkward. However, you have to fix it. Any behavioral problems create performance issues for individuals and the team at large.

Holding someone accountable for their actions does not entail firing them because of their behavior and performance. In fact, firing an employee is an act of cowardice on the part of the leader. A leader’s role is to hold people accountable and ensure they meet the team’s expectations. Failure to do so can make things worse.

People sometimes avoid having difficult conversations because it is awkward, or someone might feel bad. This reflects significantly on the leaders instead of the ones with behavioral issues.The decision to avoid such conversations is a selfish move.

When you avoid holding someone accountable, they continue behaving in a specific manner, and things only continues to worsen. The team’s unity starts breaking up, leading to drama and office politics slowly begins to rear its head. Consequently, the team’s overall performance gets negatively impacted, and individual employee performances decline. Finally, employees are only a few steps away from termination. All this because nobody focused on accountability and ran away from it.

After considering this scenario, is it not better to hold the person accountable than to let their behavior continue? Withholding information that could help an individual improve and take corrective steps can be damaging in the long run.

What Causes You to Not be Accountable?

While growing up, everyone has always been accountable to somebody else. When you are a child, you must follow your parents’ instructions or be punished. You follow the teacher’s instructions in school to avoid failing in class. At work, you follow your managers to avoid the risk of termination.

Accountability has always been correlated with complying with someone else’s requirements and demands. So, nobody has learned how to be self-accountable. You need to be trained in accountability to call yourself out for every decision you make.

If you are not accountable, you will consciously decide not to do something and downplay its importance. If done repeatedly, you will get into the habit of convincing yourself that nothing holds real consequences. Such a level of denial can be damaging for several reasons.

Why is it Important to Change Habits and Intentionally Commit to Plans?

To hold yourself accountable, you must put in the effort and focus on your goals. Being committed to them is crucial.

Having confidence in your skillset is essential for success butholding yourself accountable is also important. It motivates you mentally and emotionally to work towards your goals.

Wrapping Up

By the time people realize that their lack of accountability has affected their businesses and jobs, it is usually too late. Everyone has lost faith in you by then, which may be a blow to your pride. Eventually, you may start to blame others for your mistakes.

Understanding why certain things are done and avoiding running away from accountability is essential.