5 Ways to Develop Accountability
Accountability is a trait many advisors lack, but one that elite advisors always possess. No matter how great your talent you won’t get ahead unless you become accountable for your actions and the actions of your clients. Without accountability you won’t develop the self-discipline you need to take charge of your career and make changes for the better.
If you need help to develop accountability, here are five ways you can get started.
#1. Admit it when you’re wrong
Nobody gets it right 100% of the time. But when you do make a mistake don’t retreat into the background – get straight on the phone and inform clients. Make yourself accountable before others do to demonstrate your honesty and integrity.
You don’t need to apologize for the things you can’t control – i.e. for what happens in the market. Don’t take all the credit when the market rises either – or you’ll have to take responsibility when it falls.
But if you made a genuine error or miscommunicated something, then step up, be forthright and express regret. Reassure clients that you can fix the problem and take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
#2. Set goals and become accountable for them
If you want to become accountable, make sure you set concrete goals, so you can be sure you’re moving in the right direction. Make your goals small and achievable – for example, to call a certain number of prospects each day or set a certain number of appointments. In doing so you’ll start to feel more in control of your life and know you have the power to direct it. Focus less on what you can’t do and more on what you can do.
Write your goals down and refer to them regularly.
If you’re not hitting your goals, become accountable and ask yourself why. If you’re not calling enough prospects, is it because you have an intense dislike of prospecting? Consider why this is the case. Perhaps because of your fear of rejection? If your fear of rejection is holding you back, make the decision to work on your soft skills so you become more comfortable with this essential task.
#3. Ask clients for feedback
Make yourself more accountable by asking for and acting on feedback from others. Call clients regularly to ask them how they rate your performance – do they wish you did things differently? Are there any extra services they’d like to see you offering?
Use this feedback to move forward (as an added bonus, asking for your clients’ opinions will also make them feel more valued).
#4. Stay focused to develop accountability
Make a commitment to staying healthy in body and mind, and don’t spread yourself too thin. Stay focused on the things that need doing and delegate the things that don’t require your personal input. Use tracking tools to see where you could improve your time-management. And stay away from negative people.
#5. Be honest – then seek an objective opinion
If you don’t take the time to analyze your performance, you won’t know whether you’re on track or not – you’ll simply be drifting along. Step back and examine your strengths and weaknesses
You could also try this useful exercise: Take a look back over the past week – then write an article describing the decisions you made and actions you took, both professionally and personally. Be totally honest. Then ask yourself – would you be happy to publish that article online or elsewhere? If not, you need to change things, so you can feel accountable for all your actions.
To help you address any weaknesses consider working with a mentor – mentors can give you an objective opinion and help you stay on track when it comes to goal-setting and achieving those goals. A good mentor will hold you to your commitments and be both your cheerleader and coach.
Once you start becoming accountable you’ll soon see big positive changes in both your personal and professional life. Your clients will appreciate your accountability and trust that you are the right person to lead them to their goals on time. You’ll also begin to feel personally empowered and confident you can reach your full potential.