If you’re frustrated that your company’s growth seems to have hit a ceiling, you’re not alone. Oftentimes, despite having a great product or service, internal behaviors can stymie your growth. While this can include a wide range of behaviors, there’s one area in particular that plagues many organizations: a lack of accountability in business. Here’s how to know if this is holding you back, and what you can do to change it.
Accountability In Business
There’s a reason that many leaders don’t make accountability a priority within their walls: because it’s uncomfortable. Accountability literally means “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions” – and who actually enjoys accepting responsibility? Whether you’re practicing accountability yourself and owning your own successes and failures, or you’re holding someone else accountable, there’s a good chance at some point it’s going to be awkward. Still, recognize that it’s a crucial pillar of every thriving company and their growth.
B2B Leadership Structure
Sometimes, accountability is lacking simply because it wasn’t made a priority from the get-go. An owner hires employees as they’re needed, and immediately sends them into onboarding and training. Then, they get started. There’s no structure or framework for them to expect accountability, and the more time that goes by, the more uncomfortable the idea of introducing it is. So the can gets kicked down the road, and your culture becomes one where accountability is absent.
This is usually the case in organizations where there’s no clear ownership. As the old saying goes, “everybody’s business is nobody’s business.” In other words, if you don’t clearly assign responsibilities and tasks to specific people and hold them accountable to deadlines, they will assume someone else is handling those responsibilities and tasks – which means nobody will. The first step to take to increase accountability is to make sure everyone on your team is expressly told which specific projects they’re responsible for when they’re due and what’s expected of them.
Vision & Alignment
The next part of the accountability picture is defining your vision. It’s very hard for employees to rally around their tasks when the direction of your business isn’t clear. Why would they be motivated to submit a weekly report if they have no idea how it will be used? Why would they feel compelled to meet a sales quota, if they don’t understand your company’s larger mission?
Defining – and sharing – your vision is key to unifying your team around a shared trajectory, and the smaller goals that will get you there. Knowing where you’re headed helps everyone stay on track. It also helps you, as the business owner, to make better decisions that align with your vision. For example, maybe you own a healthcare company that is on a mission to reach $100 million in revenue, increase access to disease prevention methods, and ultimately be acquired. Knowing this will help everyone on your team make daily choices that bubble up to achieve this vision and make a real impact.
Finally, B2B leadership as you prioritize accountability and grow your business requires honesty. Yes, some of these conversations will be tough, but they’re necessary. You can’t expect your team members to grow – or your business to – if you’re not setting expectations and holding each other to them. This is where the idea of radical candor comes in.
The concept is that you should care about the people you work with, share about yourself beyond work, and encourage others to do the same. As you build an authentic relationship, you create trust and a real bond. When relationships are grounded in this way, having open conversations becomes easier. Your employees know they matter to you, and they’ll be more receptive to your feedback because they’re aware you have their best interests at heart. Likewise, if they have something to share with you and want to hold you accountable, you’ll be more open to that as well.
Accountability in business is crucial to growth. How are you making it a pillar of your company today? Contact us to learn more about growing your business!