The Power of Accountability

Picture by Shawn Kinkade via Flickr

Picture by Shawn Kinkade via Flickr

As business coaches, our job is to help business owners develop bigger, better businesses. If you’re actively trying to build your company, then you should be looking for an advisor / coach / mentor to help you.

What can a coach help you do?

OK, business owners are you ready for some full disclosure?  Measuring the initial value of a business coach or advisor is not always easy to quantify.  When we work with clients the impact and results of our work usually are not as obvious as the instant gratification of a new machine or any tangible object.   That said, to summarize our role is really pretty simple; we help businesses figure out where they are (clarity), where they want to be (focus), and then help them get there in the most efficient way (momentum).   And, ultimately see that the business is financially sound and profitable, again developing a bigger, better business. Over time there’s usually a way to measure the financial gain – and the goal is to make that a very positive investment, but it’s still not always a direct correlation.

What we do, what that process looks like varies with every business and every owner depending on what the biggest obstacles are and where the biggest opportunities appear to be.   We provide a tool box filled with the most effective proven ways to help businesses be profitable and we do our best to help you implement them.   We have real life experience that only comes from owning and running a business ourselves.  All important attributes and traits that we bring to the table – but it doesn’t even cover what might be the most important thing we do.

Could there be more to it than this?   

ac·count·abil·i·ty noun ə-ˌkau̇n-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē

One of the most significant components we provide a business may be accountability.  It is a scary word for a lot of business owners.  Not having to be accountable to someone else is often the reason many of them started their business in the first place.   But not being accountable to anyone can leave even the most well intentioned person misguided.  And although it is definitely a noun, it can be very intangible for those needing to embrace it.

“The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.” – Steve Maraboli

This past week over a period of less than a few hours, three different clients called to simply share something they had done that reaffirmed the power of the accountability component. In each of the three cases, the business owner had a different task or procedure that in the past they were either unable to complete or were able to self-excuse away why they were allowing it to happen (or not happen). The type of stuff they knew they should be doing, but just hadn’t been able to do in the past.

But this time it was different.  Together, we had created a plan and prioritized what was important.  We had clearly identified what was acceptable and what was not acceptable.   And most importantly we had created an accountability component between the business owner and their trusted advisor.   Additionally, once one understands their function as the business owner, it may not be so much about letting their coach down as they don’t want to let their business down!

Selfishly on our end, these types of calls are some of the most rewarding.  But more importantly we know because of our client’s action they are becoming better business owners, stronger leaders, and they are moving their business in the direction they ultimately want it to go.

How about you? On a scale of 1 -10; if you were completely honest with yourself, what number would you rate yourself in the accountability category?  What could the positive outcomes be if it was even 1 number higher?   Why would those outcomes be important to you?

Be accountable. It’s a huge key to success.

As always we value your comments in the space below.

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach