Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Accountable Individual

In today’s 24/7 non-stop world, accountability is becoming a more critical issue for all of us. Whether you are the business owner, the executive in an organization, the salesperson on the road, the employee looking at climbing the corporate ladder, or the juggling parent / homemaker – many of us are trying to accomplish a certain level of success & balance in all aspects of life – professional, personal, physical, social, spiritual, family, etc. which can be very very challenging at times.


Because trying to ‘have it all’, ‘do it all’, or ‘provide it all’ can be challenging in a world that is full of opportunities & endless amount of options, especially if you have the responsibility of others (business owner, parent, partner, etc). Nowadays, we have to be more efficient with our time and more accountable to our actions if we want to achieve a ‘high level’ in many areas of our lives. But the reality is this…

Being accountable to things isn't easy. If it was we would all be much further ahead in our lives than we probably are now. We wouldn't need reminders, help, support, and a host of other means to help us make sure we follow through on what we say and know we should do.

In addition, the challenge is to realize that accountability is just not a single issue, but an issue with many supporting competencies. To maintain and thrive as an accountable individual first requires overcoming the fear to embrace these elements and then a plan of action to ensure that we are accountable individuals.

Here are the top 15 elements & contributors on becoming an accountable individual not only with your physical fitness but in other aspects of your life as well.

Understanding – Do we understand ourselves? Are we aware of our own strengths and weaknesses? Do we know how to leverage those strengths? How do we deal with our feelings, emotions, weaknesses and most importantly actions? We will bring additional benefits to ourselves when we explore the keys of understanding what we want, what behaviors will help us achieve our goals, and what values are necessary to maintain our credibility.

Action – What action or actions did we & do we take or not take and why? Since many individuals have been conditioned not to take action or are stuck in “analysis/paralysis,” accountability suffers because no specific action has been taken.

Commitment – Are we truly committed to doing what it takes? North America has a multi-billion dollar diet food industry. Yet, if individuals would engage in walking 30 more minutes each day, drink 8 glasses of water, reduce their daily food intake and avoid known fatty foods, they would all lose weight. So, why is there a multi-billion dollar diet industry? The answer for most simply lies within the level of commitment of those individuals.

Choices – Are we all making good choices such as surrounding ourselves with the right people to help us get towards our goals? Whether they are professionals that provide the services & accountability we are in need of OR taking the right steps in the right direction towards our goals – our choices are critical to get us to the ‘promised land’ faster and smoother.

Alignment – Are our actions in alignment with our purpose? Do we know what our purpose is? Our purpose along with our vision, values and mission statements act as filters and help us make better decisions. For if the pending issue is not in alignment with our purpose, why are we even considering this issue?

Opportunities – Are we creating new possibilities for success?

Numbers – What are our weekly parameters or targets? The old adage goes if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. By developing our own baselines for success for every day, week, month or year – we can evaluate to see if we are on track to our goals.

Time – Are we making the most of our time? Time is a fixed commodity. By using down time we can greatly enhance your results. More often than not, we are reminded that time management is key to long-term success.

Consistency – Is our accountability a one time thing? Inconsistency derails many individuals and organizations. “Walking the talk” is critical to building a culture where we are respected for our demonstrated actions. Accountability then becomes our friend and not our foe. Success is not a sometime thing – therefore, we have to be consistent at being accountable.

Internalization – Are we working from the inside out? To be truly accountable, means that our actions are coming from our inside convictions & beliefs and not just from some recent external event, thought or person. Internalization also helps to strengthen the consistency of our actions.

Communication – Do we communicate directly with the people / person who can help us fix our problems or do we internalize, be frustrated & communicate to someone else which ends up contributing to the problem? This is a necessity to ensure that the bus continues to move in the right direction.

Learning – Do we learn from our past to ensure we don’t make the same mistakes again? Are we learning from those that have taken the steps before us to help us get to our goals faster? And are we continually educating ourselves to be better than we are today? Each day should present to us a new learning experience from which we can grow both personally and professionally – some of this will happen to us & other times we need to make it happen for us.

Integrity – Do we demonstrate our values at all times? For example, will we take action when we know a situation is wrong or will we ignore the situation because we don’t want to rock the boat & ‘create conflict’ - in other words, be uncomfortable.

Team – How can we help others be more accountable? Today, proactive teamwork is a greater part of business, family, and relationship success. Teams help achieve greater success, but sometimes team members lack some of the necessary skills. We often hear of the 20% of the team doing 80% of the work & effort. Are our behaviors helping others to be more accountable or are our behaviors allowing others to shoulder more of the workload – that is the question.

It’s all about US - Bottom line, it is all about us, no buts, no excuses! We all have the ability to shape our futures but it is dependant on what we choose to be accountable to and for.

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