The ability to take responsibility and think independently is essential for entrepreneurs, and can help create a culture of accountability.
Anybody can be a leader. The reason why most people don’t feel like they are suitable for this role, or fail to become one, is that they are not willing to take the necessary and difficult steps to reach this goal.
Leaders are people who have something interesting to say and, at the same time, have enough charisma to make their listeners follow. Their confidence does not rely on past experiences, nor on external validation. It comes from a strong belief that no matter what comes their way, they will know how to handle it and take the right action immediately.
Nobody is born with the abilities needed for this role. You cannot possess the kind ofself-assurance that makes people follow without the continuous development of your skills. You have to gain a deep knowledge about your field, and build up the self-esteem and charisma that will make people listen to you.
Thinking too much of yourself, or being arrogant, will not help you in achieving this. Your self-esteem needs to come from the ability to take responsibility and think independently. It’s natural to struggle with fear sometimes, and question your own decisions, but you have to aspire to overcome your doubts. The following thoughts might help in achieving this.
Whatever you do, choose your own way of doing it. You may get wise advice from people who love you or care about you, but nobody can tell what would be the best for you. Instead of following the paths of your teachers or peersblindly, you have to discover your passions and dreams; everything else will follow. Do something novel, do the unexpected. Life is too short for being a follower.
Don’t make up excuses for not doing what is necessary! You are responsible for your own life! The more time you spend worrying instead of doing what you need to do, the shorter your time will be. The next time your brain starts making excuses, tell it to shut the fuck up. Don’t think- do!
You need to take credit without taking credit, and take responsibility for the people in your life. Always take responsibility. People will respect you for it!
A leadership of accountability
Leaders achieve their goals by facilitating the success of individuals and teams. They clarify the objectives and their significance. I’m sure you have or can build the skills to be one. The challenge is how to attract and motivate people when the world around you is changing radically.
The key to success might be in creating aculture of accountability. Build an organization where everyone is willing to take responsibility for their actions and is able to discuss success and failure honestly.
This will put a heavy burden on you. If something doesn’t go according to plan, youshouldn’t blame it on outside factors, like strong competition, the lack of time or unreliable colleagues. You are the one who has to define the roles within your organization and find ways to succeed, even when it seems unlikely to everyone else.
You will need toexplain toyour colleagues clearly what is expected of them. Not only dotasks and responsibilities have to be obvious to everyone at your firm, your co-workers also have to understand how their job will benefit the company and help to achieve your common goals.
Simon Sinekbelieves a lot of leaders confuse delegation with assigning tasks. Knowing what to do is not enough; the why also needs an explanation. Effective delegation is about giving responsibility.
Delegating responsibility, instead of delegating only a task, as long as you work with right people, may lead to getting additional ideas beyond your own, strengthening bonds among team members and improving the culture of the organization.
When the goals and expectations are set, you can start to assess the performance of your team members, see if your goals are met, and come up withways to improve processes when things should have been done differently.
This is only possible if you have clear KPIs. Here’s one example. With my company, SpringTab.com, we wrote about thePareto Principle, which states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Let’s say our goal is to increase profit. We decided to find out what the 20% of activities that produce 80% of our profit are, and come up with ideas to raise the income from those activities. If we clearly definehow much increase we expect from the changes, we will have measurable goals that will provide insight into how well our ideas played out.
There’s one more thing you will need to pay attention to when creating a culture of accountability: providing feedback on the tasks you appointed. It doesn’t matter if the feedback is positive or negative; when done correctly, it will improve productivity either way.
Positive feedback will encourage employees to work more on thethings that they are good at and reassure them that their progress is being followed. Negative feedback, on the other hand, can help you find the cause of problems. If you use these occasions tolook for information on what went wrong, you will gain valuable insight, and you’ll be able to set your goals more precisely next time!