Sure, I do what I believe is expected of me, but am I accountable? My boss asked me to provide her a flowchart of growth requirements for my department activities spanned over the next 10 years. She asked to review it together by Friday. Friday afternoon comes and during our meeting I present to her my flowchart. I worked hours on this flowchart giving extensive details of data. She began asking for more and more information which was not on the report. She wanted data I had not pulled or computed and she needed that data for her own report due Monday.

Now at this point I have two choices.

1.    Tell my boss I did what she asked me to do. Complain that she didn’t ask for that information up front. Tell her I don’t have time to redo it.
2.    Recognize I didn’t ask enough questions to ensure my output met or exceeded her expectations.

I opted for choice #2 as I alone was at fault for the gap between expectations and production. Although I thought I created a flowchart of useful data, it was not, because it was not what she needed at the time. I had to rearrange the remaining part of my day to redo the flowchart and get it to her in time for her to complete her report. Does that make me accountable?

Accountability in the basic sense is taking ownership of your actions, no “if’s,” “and’s,” or “but’s” about it. What makes me accountable?

·         Specific expectations – paraphrase back to the person asking for the request

·         Bigger picture – knowing my piece to the puzzle is important and will impact others and/or the organization.

·         Me – what did I miss? If I didn’t met expectations I must have missed something. Constantly learning and growing

·         Ownership and pride – anything with my name on it should meet my standards and my standards come from what is expected of me.

If I am accountable how will that impact my team, my career, my organization?

My team – Lead by example by acknowledging my actions to my team. Provide specific expectations while holding them accountable for their actions.
My career – My name will be recognized with results, possibly putting me in a better position for promotion opportunities
My organization – Results come from people being accountable by doing what they need to do. My organization will grow, get results and meet goals.

Are you accountable?