If you or your employees are working extended hours and pushing yourselves to the limit, here’s the scoop: appreciable growth is absent from your business. You need room to grow. It’s not uncommon for businesses to find themselves working harder and not smarter. Without clarity and focus, accountability suffers.

This short anonymous passage sums up what’s troublesome in many organizations:

“This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.  Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.  Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.  It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.”

Sound familiar?

There are many things that set us back from realizing our full potential. How do you get people to be more accountable for results? We’ve got a few ideas on how to make and keep commitments:

  • Set realistic expectations. – To please you, your team may be saying “yes” to everything because it’s tough to tell the boss “no.” Your projects suffer because they over promised and under delivered, or other things on their to-do list break down because time and attention are diverted to the new project. Encourage an open discussion to identify the expectations and the skills and capabilities needed to bring your project to fruition.
  • Identify the end game. – By outlining commitments you can measure progress. You can avoid premature optimism by working backward. Develop a SMART goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Who will be responsible for what? Tweak your plan based on your findings.
  • Give ownership. –  It’s imperative that you give your team the flexibility to change objectives to achieve your company’s goals. Understanding is different than doing. Your team will encounter difficulty and experience distractions, and their leadership is not only valuable to the execution of the project, but for planning for the future.

Accountability requires real effort. It takes clear communication where milestones are reviewed and gaps are openly discussed. Your business can’t afford being a serial offender to meeting your commitments. There are always competitors who are prepared to act with proficiency, care and diligence.

Inspire for Greater Accountability

At Inspire Federal Credit Union, we believe we must act with integrity and take responsible steps to ensure our members make progress toward their financial goals. How do you overcome obstacles in your business? We want to share in your journey. For banking, business checking, merchant services and more, call Inspire today at (212) 788-5270, extension 308.