Be Accountable towards your role, your actions & your performance
"A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody."
Accountability is the ability to understand what is it that you are responsible for & taking complete ownership. Ownership for the deadlines that you commit to and the goals that you set up for yourself. When you are accountable, you take complete responsibility for your actions & for everything that happens to you – good, bad, ugly. Accountability makes you answerable to yourself & to your stakeholders.
Accountability means that you stop blaming others and externalizing. When you blame others for your own shortcomings or lack of success, you become helpless. And helplessness leaves you powerless & weak … the first step towards your failure!
When you are accountable, you are forced to think of solutions because the basic premise of accountability is that you are the source of all solutions. When you start thinking of solutions, you take decisions. And when you take decisions, you feel empowered. Empowerment leads to success!
How do you practice accountability?
Understand your role & its deliverables,
List down the key parameters & goals for achieving success,
Seek approval of your actions from your managers
Connect with your stake holders,
Follow the PDCA Rule – Plan, Do, Check & Act.
When things go well, we have a tendency to accept credit willingly. When things go wrong, it is most difficult to direct the responsibility towards our own self. Note that the word is here is responsibility & not blame!
Taking responsibility for something that's gone wrong would translate into the following actions:
Do root cause analysis on what really went wrong & maintain 100% objectivity while doing so
Introspect on your role & what could you have done to prevent the situation
Step in to correct and be proactive the next time
At the very start of your career, when you start taking accountability, you demonstrate leadership. You demonstrate to your seniors that you are capable of taking decisions and being independent. You demonstrate that you are forever-ready to take on higher responsibilities. And by demonstrating these qualities, you earn the trust of your organization & pave the way for your success.
By Shampi Venkatesh
CPO, NIIT Ltd.