Accountability is “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” I’m sure many of you have heard the term accountability, especially in a professional setting. It is important for people to be able to count on you for things. If someone knows they can count on you it makes you a trustworthy and reliable person, qualities that everyone should strive for. You want to be the person that your boss goes to with an important project, because he knows he can count on you to complete it. But that is not all accountability is, it also includes you being accountable for your actions and owning up to your mistakes. You will be more respected if you admit when you made a mistake instead of trying to hide it. Here are a few important things to know about accountability.

  1. Accountability Starts with You: It is important to be a model of accountability not only for yourself but for others. If you model accountability other will be more likely to follow. If you make a commitment, keep it and take ownership.
  2. You Are Accountable: Accountability is part of your job description, so treat it as you would any other task that you perform at your job.
  3. Accountability Is Not A One-Time Thing: Being accountable once does not make you an accountable person. It is an all-time thing and you must display it at all times not only when someone else is watching.
  4. Accountability Applies to One and All: It is everyone’s responsibility to be accountable not just yours. Especially if you are in a management position, it is important to hold everyone accountable for their actions not just some people. It needs to remain consistent.
  5. Accountability Cannot Be Delegated: You cannot delegate accountability; it is all on you. It is easy to take accountability for things that are successful, but not everything is going to be successful. Some things are not going work out and you must step up and take accountability for them anyway.
  6. Accountability Is the Difference Between Success and Failure: If you are not showing accountability it could be the reason you fail; at anything you do. While accountability is very important at work, that is not the only place you should display it. It is important in every aspect of your life. Think about all the people that count on you in your personal life, weather its your parents or your children. It is important to be the person that they need you to be.
  7. You Have to Hold Yourself Accountable: Accountability is not easy; it is something you constantly need to work on. It can be very difficult to hold yourself accountable for a failure or mistake, but it must be done.