Accountability is Not a Four Letter Word

I went into business for myself in part because I continually found myself frustrated while working for someone else.

Meetings felt like a waste of time, most of my bosses continually asked me to do things then never acknowledged my accomplishments, quickly moving on to the next project.

Frequently I found myself focused on something only to discover my manager had abandoned it and forgot to tell me they were going in a different direction.

And then there’s that, the changing directions, which left me feeling uninformed, behind and frustrated.

Going into business for myself seemed like freedom from meetings, confusion and having to answer to someone else. You know the answer to the question “Why’d you decide to start your own business?”

“So I could work less, make moreDuh money and not have a boss.” Yeah, well, most of you know how that goes. The lessons having your own business delivers are seemingly endless, frequently surprising and followed by more face-palm moments than I care to admit.

One of my earliest connect the dots moments was the discovery that other people actually want to be told what to do. Not only did they just want me to tell them what I wanted they actually appreciated being held accountable.

Huh.

accountability

This realization, that accountability makes people feel that what their doing matters was to say the least, surprising. Who knew that telling people what you want them to do, being clear about your vision and your expectations was mostly meaningless without following it all with accountability.

Turns out holding people accountable to what you’ve asked them to do let’s them know you meant it, you didn’t change your mind a week later, gives them the satisfaction of completion and a sense of accomplishment. It builds their trust in you and each other.

Turns out accountability is a big part of getting things done. Not only that but providing accountability helps your team to have clarity around what they’re doing and when you want it done by. It gives them the opportunity to ask for clarification, confirmation and to share their accomplishments with you.

Now imagine my surprise and frustration when I became an advisor to business owners and discovered how little accountability they were using in their companies. More connect the dots moments for me when I realized this lack of accountability was a large part of why so many businesses are struggling to get things done and accomplish their visions.

It seems that many business owners having disliked being held accountable themselves have assumed that accountability itself was the issue and not who or how it was being employed. The experiences they’ve had with accountability makes it difficult for them to learn the lesson of it’s importance. It causes them to resist it sometimes at all costs (their business goals) and leaves them and their teams struggling and frustrated.

Instilling some healthy accountability into my clients businesses has proven to be one of my biggest challenges as an advisor when trying to help them turn their visions into reality.

Accountability is not a four letter word.

Huh.

 

Continue reading Accountability is Not a Four Letter Word

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The Hurrier I Go, The Behinder I Get

In this age of abundance, time is the one thing nobody has enough of. Perhaps that’s why Google receives 111 million searches a month for Time Management. Few people recognize how time management depends upon the emotional intelligence skills of self-management and relationship management.White_Rabbit_nobackground

Creating a good schedule is a very rational thing, but sticking to that schedule is decidedly emotional. Many of us start out every day with the best intentions to manage our time wisely. But then we receive a complicated email from a co-worker, a consuming phone call from a friend, or otherwise get sidetracked until our well-laid plans go up in flames. We spend the rest of the day trying to put out somebody else’s fire, or working to resolve issues that weren’t there in the morning. Before you know it, the day is gone and you’re completely off schedule.

When the distractions are your own, sticking to a schedule requires self-management. When the needs of others try to impede upon your plans, it takes effective relationship management to finesse the relationship while ensuring that your priorities are still addressed.

This of course assumes you are clear about what your priorities are. Many Entrepreneurs find themselves feeling like Alice in Wonderland, chasing white rabbits and more than a little lost. Running a business is filled with daily distractions, urgent but not important things to do are around every corner or at the end of the email trail in your in box.

Before Emotional Intelligence can help you manage your distractions you will need to create a strong road map of the priorities and milestones that will lead you to your intended goals. Invest some time clarifying your goals and identifying the important milestones that will help you achieve them. Like Alice you will come across many white rabbits along the way but you will find it much easier to get back on track with your priorities identified and a clear plan for action.

To learn more about emotional Intelligence get the book.

To learn more about ensuring your priorities are addressed and your goals consistently achieved make your next priority a conversation with me.

Suzanne helps business owners develop the foundations that turn their visions into reality, contact her today

Suzanne Lyon
Suzanne@lyon-sfocus.com
612.801.9320
EQ 2.0

The Instant Gratification of The E-Break

A GREAT REMINDER.

This comes from an article on Fast Company written by Jane Porter…

One of the most common ways people choose to waste time is what psychologists James Baker and James Phillips call e-breaks—checking and responding to email as a way to avoid an actual task at hand. But they see these e-breaks as a form of “defensive avoidance”; not all that different from the morally substitutable acts Pychyl is interested in. According to their research, people who choose to e-break as a way to step away from their work tend to be more frequent procrastinators.

'My name is Kerry and I'm an email-aholic...'

It makes sense. If someone is inclined to check email as a break from working on another task and email is simply a click away, the chances of succumbing to distraction are far more frequent than getting up to go to the vending machine.

DISTRACTIONS PLACE A STRAIN ON OUR COGNITIVE ABILITIES. IT CAN TAKE MORE THAN 20 MINUTES TO REGAIN FOCUS AFTER A SINGLE INTERRUPTION.
According to research from the University of California, Irvine

Ron Friedman, founder of the leadership consulting firm ignite80 likens compulsively checking and responding to email to dropping everything to run to the grocery store each time you discover you’re running low on an item in your cupboard. “It’s easy to see the cost of driving to the store every time we crave a bag of potato chips,” he writes in Harvard Business Review. “What is less obvious to us, however, is the cognitive price we pay each time we drop everything and switch activities to satisfy a mental craving.”

I know this already and have gotten a pretty good handle on emails, however, I have to wonder what the research says about compulsively posting a blog as a procrastination choice???

Read the full article here;
http://www.fastcompany.com/3039838/how-we-trick-our-brains-into-feeling-productive

A Quick Free Tool You Can Use Daily To Get More Done & Feel Happier!

We all get distracted, stressed & lose focus. We forget what we started out to accomplish that week or that day.We lose sight of our priorities. At the end of the year we look back at our goals and intentions with dismay as we realize just how far off track we got. At the beginning of the new year we resolve to accomplish more, do better and be happier.

As Entrepreneurs we have new thoughts and great ideas flying through our minds 24 hours a day and unless we’ve developed the practice of writing things down we don’t have the focus to remember them all let alone accomplish them all. It is not unusual to wake up at 2 am with an idea and not be able to go back to sleep until you’ve written it down somewhere. When a friend recently referred to this behavior as “popcorn brain” to a room full of entrepreneurs, we all laughed and nodded knowingly.

How often do you look back at your year or even your day and find yourself pleased with what you’ve accomplished? How often do you stop to appreciate all that you have now instead of focusing on what you will have someday? How often do you stop to notice what is right, right now?

What if I told you that the simple act of sitting in a chair and doing nothing for 10 minutes each day would not only help you get more done, it would increase your focus, lower your stress and make you feel happier too. What? How can sitting and doing nothing possibly do all that?
Well, meditation is scientifically proven to do all that in as little as 10 mins every day. Yes, I tricked you into reading an article about meditation. And I’m going to increase the deception and ask you to watch a short video from TED Talks.

Go ahead and click, I dare ya!

Don’t worry, it’s painless and you won’t be asked to say”Ommm”.