Ways to Be Accountable

Last week when I talked about being professional, one of the things that I mentioned was being accountable.  Being accountable means taking responsibility for the end result of our actions and being able to explain why we did it a certain way.  It is standing up to our choices and being responsible for our actions.

So, how can we be accountable in our jobs?
  • Have a vision for the future.  If you work for someone else this usually means knowing what the company goals are and what the company’s outlook for the future is.  Every time you make a decision or work on a task, ask yourself if this is furthering the company’s vision.  How is it going to help and propel the company forward?  If it is only slightly working towards moving the company forwards in its goals see if there is a way you can tweak the project or add to it that will make it more goal focused.
  • Have an accountability partner.  Find someone in the company that has a similar work ethic to yourself that you can go to when you need a second opinion.  Bounce ideas off one another.  Talk about the possible repercussions.  Having someone to talk to that has a similar mindset to your own can give you the chance to see things that you might be missing otherwise.
  • Take responsibility for your actions.  That means taking responsibility whether the results are good or bad.  Sometimes we forget that we need to speak up when we have done something good.  Remember that it is unlikely that others are going to speak up for you so you should speak up when you are proud of something you have done.  On the other hand, when you have made a mistake you should take ownership of it and find a way to make it better by fixing it or getting the task into the hands of someone who can show you how to fix it.
  • Take charge of your advancement.  Advancement does not always mean promotions or raises.  Many of our advancements take the form of learning and increased knowledge.  So, take charge of it by taking time to read good magazines and books that can help you on your job.  Go to a seminar or a workshop.  Listen to a webinar online (many are free).  Read and keep up to date with professional sites online in your industry.
What other ways do you hold yourself accountable?