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3 Ways to Build Accountability in Your Organization

3 Ways to Build Accountability in Your Organization

One of the top problems we see from CEOs that come to us for coaching?

They’re constantly rolling up their sleeves.

There’s nothing wrong with collaborating with your team. As CEO, it’s good to get in the trenches every once in a while and remember what it’s like to work for the business.

But your job isn’t sales. Or engineering. Or accounting.

As CEO, you’re responsible for five main things: Vision, Cash, People, Key Relationships, and Learning. If you’re busy writing code or closing deals, you’re going to lose sight of the bigger picture. And the more you take control of the little things, the less time you have to wrestle with the BIG challenges facing your organization.

If you’re struggling to trust your team to do what you hired them to do, what you’re missing is accountability.

What is accountability?

Accountability is a system that holds you and your team responsible for your goals.

Ask yourself: Do you have the measurement framework in place to have a sense of control and understanding of your business on a daily basis?

That means you know what your goals are and how to reach them—and so does everyone else in your organization.

Here are three ways to get started building a culture of accountability for your team:

1. Set clear, realistic goals

Accountability starts with your goals. What do you want to achieve? Why those goals? Why now? Picture yourself a year or five years from now:

  1. What are you celebrating? Are you popping champagne because you just sold the company or raised a new round of funding? Did you hit a certain revenue or customer milestone?
  2. Then, reflect on what specific and measurable activities took place that led to this achievement. If you generated $1 million in sales, for example, then how many sales reps did you hire that year to make that happen? Think about what kinds of changes need to take place to bring your dreams into reality.

CEO Coach Bill Brady recommends reverse engineering your goals rather than picking numbers out of the air. “Think about what having a great year feels like. We’re sitting together and celebrating after you’ve knocked it out of the park. What does that look like? What specific activities did you do to achieve those goals? That’s how you start.”

2. Make your metrics transparent

Visibility = accountability.

You want to get transparency around what success looks like for your entire team,” says CEO Coach Dan Smytka. “I like to use the metaphor of driving a car. Too often, the financial and operational metrics give you a view of what’s happening behind you. What we really want is a dashboard that gives you a windshield instead, so you can see where you need to take immediate action.”

Choose three to five key metrics for your team to focus on—no more. Create a dashboard that you’ll use to track these metrics on regular check-ins with your direct reports, and make sure anyone who needs to know this information can access it easily and often.

3. Set an example for the rest of the organization

As you build a culture of accountability for your team, don’t forget yourself.

“The most important thing I can do for my clients is hold them accountable,” says Bill. “It’s lonely at the top. I’m here to make sure they maintain that focus and strategy for themselves, not just for other people.”

If you want your team to hold themselves accountable, then you need to set an example. That means if you make a mistake, own up to it. Be transparent about the metrics you’re targeting for yourself and how you plan to grow together. And when mentors, trusted C-suite colleagues, or your CEO coach talk, make sure you’re actively listening.

Working with an expert can be just the outside perspective you need to stick to the system, maintain momentum, and keep Making BIG Happen. That’s why hiring a coach can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

Learn more with our free eBook,7 Keys to Building a Culture of Accountability”

This seven-step playbook is designed to help you build a culture of accountability that sets you up for exponential growth. It’s filled with wisdom and insights from our world-class coaches.

Download the free ebook>>

About CEO Coaching International

CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average revenue CAGR of 31% (2.6X the U.S. average) and an average EBITDA CAGR of 52.3% (more than 5X the U.S. average).

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