If You’re Not Accountable, You’ll Reach Your Potential

Photo Credit-Emily Wilson Photography

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short;
but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”


What motivates you? Would others describe you as “highly accountable?” Take an honest assessment of your actions – or non-actions – and understand that if you are not holding yourself accountable, you have reached your potential, so don’t expect things to change. Are you comfortable with that? Hopefully you are not, as successful people have a sense of urgency. They do not let themselves get too comfortable and set goals just out of reach. Remind yourself that: “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” — Author Unknown.

So what are some traits that highly accountable people have in common?

They control their own fate. Rather than adopting the victim mentality, they are proactive about addressing obstacles or challenges in their business and they encourage their team to do the same. And by being proactive they remove “procrastination” from consideration.

They develop productive habits and turn dreams into reality with strong, definitive written goals. To quote Estee Lauder,“I never dreamed of success. I worked for it.” Highly accountable people also have big “Why’s”. The quote “If your why doesn’t make you cry, it’s not big enough” holds a great deal of wisdom, because if your “Why” doesn’t really affect you strongly, it won’t drive you.

Ask yourself if you are willing to take on responsibility when it ends up on your shoulders and can others be assured you will complete the task? Along with accepting responsibility, people who are accountable do not make excuses or throw blame on others. Instead they address the problems and immediately look for solutions. They manage expectations – they clarify what needs to be done and then they take action and do it – when challenges arise, they evaluate, resolve and proactively communicate.

Those leaders who are accountable also place great value on time – theirs and the time of others. Their goals have timelines and they manage their daily schedules to be as productive as possible. Identify 3 top items of your “to do” list each day and that is where your time should be directed each morning. Once those are completed, just imagine how much of your day will still be available to complete other tasks. Accountable people actually plan to be productive. Because of that they are organized, take control of their time and do not allow distractions , or what we often call “Other People Priorities” (OPP).

Highly accountable people also collaborate and surround themselves with other productive people – they are lifelong learners and enjoy the idea of continual growth.  So what will the potential be that you choose to reach? Before you answer that question, remind yourself of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

Listen to our Creative Genius podcast, featuring incredible celebrity designer, Jamie Drake, as he celebrates you and your hard work, and helps you shortcut the path to profit and renewed passion. Enjoy!

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Drue Lawlor

Director of Business Transformation Coaching Drue leads our coaching and consulting. As a NCIDQ certified designer she and Gail co-developed the 12-month Strategic Business Transformation Group Coaching. The program leads the way in teaching designers how to build or redesign their businesses for profit and success. Outside of Gail Doby Coaching and Consulting she is the co-founder of Boomers with a Plan B. She is driven to help clients create a safer and healthier homes. You’ll find her in Senior Magazine and a contributor to the following books: Design for Aging: Post Occupancy Evaluations and Interior Graphic Standards, second edition.
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