Accountability is one of those common issues that sometimes sneaks up on us. Rarely do major accountability issues appear out of thin air. More often than not, they start small and slow…but when we allow our standards to slide, our small accountability challenges typically become bigger ones we can’t ignore and are harder to clean up.
So, if you’re not sure if you have accountability problem, here are some indicators that you probably do:
- Your teammates can’t consistently count on you.
- People are always asking you for things (that you didn’t get done that impact others).
- You find yourself making excuses to your leader or your teammates.
- You find yourself making excuses to yourself in advance, just in case anyone asks.
- It’s always someone else’s fault.
- You spin your stories to appear in a more positive light.
- You want to be inspired but not accountable.
- You enjoy the perks but resist the sacrifices.
- People lose trust in you.
- Your teammates feel like the “bad guy” for holding you accountable or discussing an issue involving you with their leader.
- You don’t communicate.
- Your performance depends on your feelings or your mood.
- You realize or admit there’s a problem, but you don’t change your behavior to fix it.
Is there a chance you see yourself in some of these indicators? If so, there’s good news! You are the first person to hold yourself accountable, so you’re the best person to right your performance. Stop making excuses in your head. Think through the areas where you struggle, and make a plan to fix them. Always coming up with reasons why you’re five minutes late to work? Plan to wake up and leave 15 minutes earlier. Always behind on team projects? Get organized and plan to have your work done two days before it’s due.
Accountability is nearly always one of the most common challenges teams face, and it’s always one of the easiest to fix if each person resolves to hold himself or herself accountable.