The 5 T’s of Accountability

Accountability is about delivering on a commitment you have made. It’s about taking full personal responsibility and creating a strategic set of clear actions to reach a desired outcome.  Personal accountability is the belief that you are fully responsible for your own actions and consequences. It’s a choice, a mindset and an expression of your personal integrity.

Why is accountability so important for Small Business Owners? 

Peter Drucker once said, “what gets measured, gets managed.”  If you have someone else measuring, it gets managed even better!

Today the demands of being a small business owner can mean we are always juggling and balancing to stay afloat, get ahead, and stay ahead all while trying to find some time for ourselves.  It’s easy to set goals and then let the day to day tasks distract you from moving forward to successfully achieving them.

Benefits of strong accountability include:

  •  We all perform better if someone is watching (think of the last time you were on the treadmill next to a runner at the gym vs. working out at home!)
  • Being challenged – accountability helps you stay focused on what is your true goal by asking “Why are you focused on this instead of that”?
  • Deadlines get met – It’s much harder to “set aside” your goals if someone else knows about them. Setting clear deadlines and communicating those to your Accountability partner will help you finish those projects.
  • Reality – “Optimism and Delusion often sleep in the same bed” – Chris Felton. An accountability partner will tell you “Stop thinking about your five year plan. What are doing tomorrow to work on your goal?”
  • Learn from others mistakes.  The experience from outside eyes can see what you don’t see coming and save yourself time, energy and money from making preventable mistakes.
  • Encouragement when you get stuck in the weeds and a kick in the pants when it’s time to get going.
  • Increased feelings of competence – when you are accountable to your goals and getting those tasks done every day, your confidence will skyrocket!  You are doing this!!!

5 T’s of Accountability:

Here are 5 tips to successfully working with an accountability partner:

  1. Target: Be clear about the outcome you’re looking for, and how you’ll measure success. Agree on weekly milestones with clear, measurable, objective targets. If any of these targets slip, address it immediately. Brainstorm a solution, identify a fix, redesign the schedule, or respond in some other way that gets the person back on track.
  1. Tools: Objectively outline if they have the skills / tools/ resources available to achieve the goal? If not, what’s the plan? Outline what’s needed and a plan to get it.
  1. Timeline: Set up regular check-in times (this can be a text message or a quick phone call, no need to meet every time).
  1. Treats/ Tasks: This is the old Carrot and Stick system. Find out what is motivating them to achieve this goal.  Set up a reward (carrot) when they have achieved the goal or agreed upon milestones.  Also set up a motivating Task that is unpleasant (stick), something that is so distasteful they will achieve their goal to avoid doing it.
  1. Tough / Thoughtful Feedback: Honest, open, ongoing feedback is critical. If you have clear measurements, the feedback can be fact-based and easy to deliver. Is the person delivering on her commitments? If you are not willing to call someone on their broken promises to themselves, you are not doing them any good. You must be able to count on them to tell you unpleasant truths or tough advice you need to hear.

Remember, true accountability requires two parts: personal responsibility/commitment to achieve your desired outcome AND external support from your accountability partner.  Being personally responsible for your results is very important, but to achieve peak performance, you need that external accountability and support to keep you on track.

Success Magnified offers facilitated Peer Advisory Boards for entrepreneurs that provide, eye-opening, insightful,  and diverse resources and accountability partners to help them achieve meaningful grown in business AND in life.  To find out more, visit