Business success requires accountability

In 1988, business was so slow that I would go to my office at the back of our store, close the door, take my guitar out, put my feet up on the desk and start strumming.

While it was soothing for the soul, it wasn't very productive.

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After a couple months of this, I started to get bored singing to myself.

I decided that if the business was going to be successful, it was up to me and I was going to have to get to work. I set some goals, and went out to achieve them but it was difficult. I really had no one to keep me accountable.

It's 2019 now and, if you are like me, you probably have some goals that you want to achieve.

The problem for business leaders like you and me is that there is a 93 per cent failure rate (according to a Workplace accountability study of 40,000 business leaders) in aligning our goals and being accountable for those intended results we set out for ourselves.

As you already know from experience, our new year's resolutions for a better business often fall by the wayside because we get sidetracked.

We go off chasing rabbits and the Chinese proverb says the hunter that chases two rabbits catches neither one.

This year, if you want to get more done, achieve better results, become more successful, be more profitable, or have better work/life balance, there is one thing you can do that will make all the difference.

Find someone to keep you accountable.

In fact, the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65 per cent chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment you've committed to with a person, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95 per cent. Wouldn't you like to achieve 95 per cent of the goals you set out for yourself?

And it's not just you as a leader that needs help. The Workplace Accountability Study I mentioned earlier revealed that 91 per cent of people rank accountability as one of the top development needs, they'd like to see in their business. This means your staff wants to be held accountable as well.

Often I hear from business owners complain their staff doesn't do what is required of them. They have employees who are hard to manage and if they want something done right, the employers have to do it themselves.

When I ask who is responsible for this failure, only occasionally do they tell me that they, as leaders, are responsible. But the reality is that if our business isn't running the way we want it to and if our staff don't do their jobs the way we believe they should, then we are the problem.

We are failing to keep them accountable.

I was able to grow my business into a multi million-dollar operation with dozens of employees because I was able to find a way to keep myself accountable. We had processes in place that ensured our employees were accountable and I reported quarterly to my partners.

This left less time to play the guitar but more money to pay employees to do my work, expand the business and enjoy life in other ways.

Are you ready to be accountable in 2019?

Dave Fuller, MBA, an award-winning business coach, is the author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Want Dave to keep your team accountable? Email

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