Accountability is Leadership! There Is No Room For a Back Door.

Accountability is a Building Block of Successful Entrepreneurial Leadership

Over the next few weeks I’m going to talk about the set of important skills you need to become a strong successful leader in your field. Accountability is a great leadership skill to have. 

Accountability is Leadership

An important cornerstone skill which can’t be ignored is your interpersonal style; think people skills and teamwork.

Do you feel that others find it difficult to keep aligned with you? Have you got yourself in a place where your business or life has become messy? Are things in your life falling apart? Do you feel you’ve lost your confidence and your leadership?

Really, how important is it to make sure things in your life aren’t falling apart?!? Think about it. 

When you’ve committed to something but its no longer under control then you’re not being held accountable for the decisions you make or the things you do. 

(Or try this one: you’ve not actually made a commitment! If you’ve not committed to something then how do you know which direction you’re heading in? How does anyone know what direction you’re heading in?)

A True Leader Takes Accountability On And Grows Stronger With It

You’re not being held accountable to the commitments you make if you’re “falling out an open back door”, flailing around trying to get yourself back onto the path you’d decided on. 

If you’re being held accountable for your decisions or commitments, it means you’re accountable to whatever outcome there is. When you’re in business and you’ve made a commitment to your people then you’re answerable to the result of your commitment! A strong leader looks that commitment square in the face and works to that accountability. It’s what drives them. It’s what makes them feel obligated until they meet the outcome of their decision.

Use Irregularities To Make You a Stronger Leader

A word to the wise. Sometimes, in hind-sight, your decisions may not be the right decisions. Or an irregularity occurs. And, that’s okay. Recognising you’ve made a mistake, and owning up to it, standing tall and effectively communicating through it, teaching others how to pivot – that makes you a stronger leader. Showing humility and helping others learn through your mistakes, now that’s graciousness.

Holding yourself accountable means:

  • You’re taking responsibility for your decisions, not blaming others for why things don’t happen as you wanted them to
  • You plan things properly, with thought and consideration, respecting the needs of others right from the beginning
  • You’ll do whatever it takes to deliver on your commitments, improving your performance as you go
  • You’re willing to stand strong, be counted and be a leader

Lessons I’ve Learned About Accountability

When you make a commitment you make yourself accountable for what other people rely on you for. It’s like there’s no room for a backdoor.

Make No Room For a Back Door

I’ll give you an example. My husband and I are doing a 30 day workout challenge. The rule is that neither of us can miss a day in that 30 days, and if we do that we would pay the other $5,000 in 48 hours. But, you know, stuff comes up. Like, we started this challenge before the new year, and then New Year’s came up and to celebrate we had some champagne. I never drink, and so the next day, I was a little off my game.  But I still worked out. Why? Because I have an accountability with my husband that neither of us can miss a day of training, we can’t have a back door. On top of that there’s no workout that’s worth $5,000!

What would happen if we had a back door? We’d probably do something like, not workout at all on one day then workout twice the next day. Or we’d do a 30 minute walk around the block instead. That’s not a workout! Can you feel it starting to fall apart, starting to unravel? We’d be taking the rules and changing the game plan just to fit into our changed attitude!

What “Coffee with Shanda” Taught Me About Accountability

Here’s another example. I used to do something called “Coffee with Shanda”. When I started “Coffee with Shanda” it came from an inspiration of giving. I had felt that the people on my social platforms needed to hear me coach them or have training more often. And unless they were in my programs, they were only getting pictures here and there, in posts, but they weren’t getting training. And so, my inspiration was to do “Coffee with Shanda”. 

This was just after I gave birth to my son, Zac. At that point, he’d wake early in the morning, and once I’d fed him and put him back to sleep it was still early, so I told everybody “I’m doing Coffee with Shanda at 6am.” Well I did that for at least a year and a half, Monday through Friday. I never missed a day. And then, as Zac grew his routine changed and he slept longer, and so to coincide with his sleep patterns, I moved the hour that I went live from 6am to 7am. And then I went from 7am to 10am (or 10:30am). I started making different concessions and changing my routines, which makes sense.

But what I found is that when this started to happen, I started to get more inconsistent. It started to get messy, immeasurable and I felt that I didn’t have the level of control I needed anymore.

Your Accountability Challenge

It’s not easy to hold yourself accountable. It takes a lot of willpower, which to be honest, I am not sure anyone has for all areas of their lives. 

But, I want to challenge you today to find an area of your life that is falling apart, that if you don’t fix it, it’ll really break down your confidence or it’ll really cost you if you don’t fix it. 

For me, that’s fitness. When I don’t workout I don’t feel I’m powerful. And I KNOW the excuses to play the “I’m not accountable” game, but if I use those I know who the biggest loser is – that’s me. That’s why we put the $5,000 caveat in place, to close my “I’m backing out of my accountability door.”

So I want you to find an area of your life you really need to fix and build accountability around it. At the end, once you’ve measured your results, you’ll be more confident because you’ll see the results you’re capable of!

A Year of 12 Times 30 Day Challenges

Another thing I’d like to have us do is taking on 12 x 30 day challenges throughout this year. Twelve months of 30 day challenges. It can be anything. And don’t be afraid if it puts you in a place of vulnerability – that’s when you learn the most about yourself! It’s fired me up! There’s so much power in doing challenges! You know there’s an end, and you’re holding yourself accountable to something. Push yourself, I want to see what you’re capable of producing!

Share Your Accountability

And share your challenge! Share your accountability with others, in our Facebook group. Help people grow their confidence through you. Be the leader you’re meant to be!

Hi! I’m Shanda Sumpter, owner of HeartCore Business, investor to entrepreneurs on The Pitch, and named as one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies in 2017, 2018, and 2019. I’ve helped business owners all over the nation grow and scale their businesses while enjoying their lives more. I believe in giving generously and being honest—all in the name of leaving a legacy.

Connect with me on Instagram

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