Accountability can be an intimidating term. Unfortunately, the word can often carry a negative connotation of justice, as in being accountable to one’s mistakes. Individuals that perceive accountability in this light may never reap the career-changing benefits of accountability. Just as an individual must responsibly own-up to their missteps, they are equally obligated to take ownership of their victories.
The benefits of this practice are multifold. Consider just a few.
By practicing accountability, you put forth an investment in your personal brand. As you take ownership of your work, your successes will become associated with you. If mistakes are made, (a likely scenario), don’t despair—these instances are an opportunity to further fortify your personal brand. As errors are corrected, and then accounted upon correction, your reputation for being trustworthy will increase. You can become known for consistent, high-quality work.
In association with the previous point, making accountability a habit will also demonstrate to a leader that you are concerned about the product, and anxious to do your part. Accountability is an expression of involvement. In communicating the successes and failures of your product frequently, a message is broadcasted: you are concerned for the product’s health, and desire to play an active role in the solution. Like the previous point, the result will be a reputation of trust and dependability.
Accountability is also an expression of confidence. When an individual openly and frequently presents their product to an authority, they are communicating their product is worth the attention of the authority, and subtly demonstrating their own approval of the product. When presenting the product, it’s vital the presenter does so with firmness if a perception of confidence is to be attained.
An individual that communicates effectively is a sought-after commodity in the corporate world, as communication is often associated with leadership and people skills. Accountability is a fantastic example of effective communication, and is perhaps one of the most efficacious ways to communicate in the workplace. By accounting frequently, a desire to communicate openly is demonstrated.
The decision to be accountable is one of investment. When accountability is demonstrated, an immediate shift in the perception of an individual will occur. In reporting good and bad news, accounting frequently is an indicator of a successful individual, or at least an aspiring one.