Accountability - The fuel that makes Goals work.

Accountability - The fuel that makes Goals work.

It is pretty easy to say anyone can create goals and then reach them, if they have a plan or create goals that are obtainable. However, that is half the battle, the other half of creating goals is obtaining the results. Being accountable to achieve your goals is the only way the goal process works; it is like having a brand new sports car without gas, you are not going anywhere.

Accountability is defined as an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility. As an employee, you must be willing to accept the responsibility of achieving your goals.

Working on teams
We have all been on teams, while working on project. And, we have all worked with that one person who always does the least amount of work. These folks have an excuse for everything or they simply do not do the work because they know the other team members will carry them. In most cases, complaining to your supervisor doesn’t do any good and team assignments are not going to be redone. Sometimes, there are only a few people on the project and reassignment is not an option. In a perfect world, everyone on the team does their part and the team as a whole produces a perfect result. One way to help with complete buy-in, is to give out assignments based on people’s strengths, this will allow team members to be in a comfort zone. Unfortunately, this still will not help if the team member is just lazy or too busy with other goals.

When you have a flat tire on your team, it is not fair to limp along as a group. This person should be addressed and, if need be, eliminated from the team. Perhaps there is another team this person would fit on better or maybe there is an assignment that doesn’t require as much attention allowing him/her to be successful without affecting your team.

Do what you say, when you say
Regardless of whether or not you are on a team, it is important to do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it. Your actions may impact other people’s goals and they may be waiting for you to finish your part of a process, so they can complete theirs. If for some reason, you can’t do your part when you are supposed to do it, then communicate with the other members of your team or department. Then, a root cause analysis can be completed to help address the issue and create an action plan to get the work done.

Follow through on your commitments. We were hired to do a job and we all bring different talents to the table. Do your part and get the work done. When you don’t follow through, you become that flat tire and will impact the outcomes of your department. Once goals start to be missed, it won’t be long before your supervisor figures out the issue and then you could be without a job.

Ask for help when you need it
We have all been in too deep. Sometimes when you take on a project, you jump in all excited and ready to conquer the world, only to discover you jumped into the deep end of the pool and you are in trouble. The key is to push through the fear to ask for help. Sure, it can be looked on as a sign of weakness, but if you are affecting the whole team, eventually they will be helping you or doing your job if you don’t ask for help.

Asking for help, lets the other team members know you are committed to the project and are willing to do your part. You just need some guidance. Sometimes, people find it easier to avoid the work or make up excuses as to why they are not getting their part completed. These actions only hurt the team and will come back to haunt you later.
It could be you need to learn something new. If you are struggling on your part of the project because you have never used a certain program or sold a new piece of equipment, then you may have to do some research online or take a course at the local college.

Hold each other accountable
Accountability is a two-way street and we all must hold each other accountable. If you think about it, everyone in the organization is an employee. Sure, there are managers and supervisors, but everyone is employed by that company. So, all employees must hold each other accountable, Just because I am the supervisor, doesn’t mean I cannot do my part of a project. As a supervisor, I may be on a separate team with other supervisors, working on a project just as important to the company as the assignment you are working on.  

Seek out an accountability partner. Sometimes, we all need a little extra push from someone who cares about our interests and helps to keep us motivated and on track. Athletes, people looking to lose weight, or stop drinking have accountability partners. Accountability partners keep track of you, help you work through hurdles, and help to motivate you, keeping you going to accomplish your goals. At work, this person could be a close coworker or someone who understands the task at hand, able to help you along. These people however, can’t or won’t do the job for you.

Communication is the number one problem with every company. You would be hard pressed to find a company whose issue wasn't over communication. It is crazy to think that in 2019, with today’s technology, communication is an issue. With texting and instant messenger, you can talk to someone anywhere in the world in real time, but yet it doesn’t happen.

Sometimes, communication doesn’t happen because the weakest link doesn’t want the other members of the team to know they are failing or not doing their part. Sometimes, people see knowledge as power and they don’t tell you what they know. Which, in their mind, makes them feel more powerful. It is easy to assume the other person knows the information you have, so you don’t communicate. Sometimes, you just get busy and forget to communicate. The key, however, to succeeding is to communicate with each other. Let the team members know what’s going on or why you won’t be done, when you said you would be done. If all of the team members understand the hurdles and what is going on, then solutions can be created before the deadline.

Employees don’t usually start out to fail and don’t purposefully decide to be the weakest link on the team. Things just happen. Don’t be the weakest team member on the team. Do your part, following through on your commitments and communicate. Hold yourself accountable, asking for help and working towards solutions. I realize this is easier said than done, but if you can put your ego away for a moment, and realize that having no gas in your sports car will get you nowhere, then you will start to be a productive member of the team and everyone will succeed.

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