I Know a Guy…Accountability
It took 10 years for my husband and I to agree on hardwood for our home. Of course, that means when we built our humble home we put in carpet for later debates. When you build a home, it is recommended to do the big ticket items in the home when you build. Otherwise, it costs more time and more money. We have taken the more time and more money approach. Finally, after 10 years we were looking for something else (don’t remember what) and just happened to find a hardwood sample that we both liked. The skies opened up, the birds sang, and the harps played. That’s the way it felt as I had nearly given up in finding something that we could agree.
We looked at the price and gulped and yet, the skies were still blue, birds still singing, and harps playing so agreed we had to have this hardwood. I know a guy that is in the flooring business that we could go to and give him our business. Rob could get the hardwood in stock and he thought he could get it for less than the franchise store. We waited and waited a little longer.
Rob researched and researched; called his boss and asked, “How is it that we are a commercial floor provider and a box store can sell this flooring cheaper than us?” He was not satisfied with his answers and called the manufacturer. Rob worked to get the product a bit cheaper and we were all happy with that result. Secondly, in the middle of the project, the manufacturer had lowered the price during a specific sale and he gave us the percentage of the difference. We would never have known the price was lowered without him telling us. Happy price dance right then!
As we talked with Rob, he led us through the process and then some. He checked on the installation and progress at different points. He called and asked how we were handling the renovation. Rob built value in having him on our team through honest work and feedback. Working with him was a pleasure, and we recommend him to any and all who are looking for flooring. Renovations are rarely a “fun” time and Rob made the process more manageable and the end result better because of his commitment.
I speak with people often about accountability and I hear “No one is held accountable so nothing gets done” or “Nothing gets done to the level of expectation.” I also hear and see certain individuals being accountable for themselves and others to get the job done. They are the ones that will continue to grow and develop into more success.
Accountability is defined as the obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and disclose the results in a transparent manner. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/accountability.html
Let’s look at obligation also known as duty, requirement or contract. When you accepted employment with an employer (or the other way around), you agreed to certain “obligations”. You are saying, “I will do this job for this amount of money. I will perform my duties in a way that have been defined.” When the employer hired you, he/she/they agreed to assure you in most cases some form of wages and benefits. They are obligated as long as you are employed to provide those obligations.
When you are accountable, account for your activities with others so they know what’s going on and the status of the obligation. Accountability takes discipline, focus, and sometimes even pain to complete any workplace actions that you have accepted. Successful employees (regardless of role) do not complain about their job but look ahead to see what value they can add. They are more likely for promotions than the employee that says, “I don’t get paid enough to do a good job.” To account for your activities is to determine if you are doing the “right things, the right way, and at the right time.”
Accountability includes taking responsibility for your part of the obligation and the activities you need to complete. When accountable, “QBQ – The Question Behind the Question®” by John Miller is a helpful reminder. There are a number of questions you can use with this tool. I prefer one. “What is one thing I can do right now to make this situation better.” That’s it. If you ask yourself this question in a conversation, in a meeting, and in your activities, and then act, you easily remain accountable. You don’t blame someone else. You don’t say, “well, he made me mad” or “he started it” or “I just don’t like him.” You can fill in the blank with so many excuses that you have heard from others and sometimes yourself say in the heat of the moment. Accountability consciousness behooves us to be accountable when things are easy and especially when they are not.
Accountability builds disclosing results in a transparent manner. White collar crime continues to occur with detrimental impact on employees. Our politics have gone to a place of no accountability for what we say or do. Accountability is hard to find in others.
I have heard said, “I will when (fill in the name) will.” In other words, you can complain about it because no one is being accountable including yourself. It is easy to get stuck in that mentality. It is time to start being accountable one at a time; be accountable to yourself and others in the things you do and say. Own mistakes you have made and correct them. Own honesty and transparency as some of your own values. You choose to go with the flow or build self-accountability so others can choose to follow. Someone must start first to be accountable. Be that guy.
I know a guy that takes the obligation of the job, accounts for his activities, accepts responsibility, and discloses the results in a transparent manner. See the blue skies, hear the birds sing, and the harps play for doing the right thing, in the right way, and at the right time.
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