Leadership and Accountability – Everyone needs a coach!

accountability1One of the biggest opportunities that I see in my conversations with leaders is a consistent lack of execution. When I started my own business, I found that having no one that I answered to on a regular basis left me more open to distractions and generally more reactive.

That is when I hired a coach. What the coach did was hold me to a process where, every week I made commitments for what I would accomplish the coming week. She….yes she, pushed me to achieve more than I would have on my own each week. While none of her techniques were all that unique, there were a few that I found more motivational that others.

One of those techniques was to monitize activies. Basically that means following activities through to the bottom line revenue. She encouraged me to make sure I was spending my most productive time on Income Generating Activies or IGA’s. The result was that I accomplished twice as many IGA’s every week than what I had been. Following that through to revenue, you can guess what the result was.

Well, I didn’t keep my coach after the 4 month contract ended, but I did try to apply the techniques and found my own method for weekly accountability. That is what I want to encourage you to do as well. Here is the secret….Spend 10 minutes at the beginning of each week to plan out the most significant activities that are IGA’s. Think of 3 to 5 activities. Write them down. If you are an employee of a company, send them to your boss. If you are self-employed or the CEO of a company, determine who would be willing to be a mentor and provide you with feedback and accountability on a weekly basis. You may know another CEO who needs the same focus and discipline. If not, consider involving your best associate. Send them your IGA’s every Monday morning. On Friday, provide an update either in person, by phone or voicemail telling your accountability partner how you did and how the week felt. What did you accomplish, what didn’t get done and what got in the way.

If you want to create a high performance team with your direct reports, start following the same thing with them. The point of this exercise is not that your boss or you need the information, but that everyone needs to be accountable to someone. When you are accountable and use IGA’s to focus your activity, you simply get more done, are more focused and more bottomline results minded.

Taking this even further, I normally recommend spending 5 to 10 minutes Monday morning with each of your direct reports. Get their top 3 to 5 IGA’s and write them down as well. Share yours and theirs with the entire team. Be accountable to each other as a team and you will become a high-performance team. By implementing this simple approach, you will be amazed at how communication and teamwork improves across your organization. When you are open and accountable, others will follow.

Give it a try and let me know how it works. If you need additional help to get things rolling, I would love to be your coach!