tips and techniques February 2014

Hold Yourself Accountable

Holding others accountable means that you hold yourself accountable first. Take one specific week to work on just this skill.

At the end of each day, use your scheduler or your to-do notes to remind yourself of what you did. Create four columns on a page of paper.

  1. List your tasks, meetings, and phone calls in the first column.
  2. In the second column, write down all the things that you did that adhered to the standards.
  3. In the third column, write all the things that you could have added or done more/better with regard to the standards.
  4. In the fourth column, note any opportunities that arose where you could have done a better job of holding others accountable. They may be small things, such as someone who interrupted someone else and you did not make an attempt to correct the behavior.

Understanding your own behavior makes you more aware of opportunities to hold others accountable for adhering to the standards.


Take this activity one step further. Share it with your employees and ask them to repeat the same thing you did. Meet with each of them to learn about their results.


Adapted from Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders, James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner, with Elaine Biech © 2010, published by Pfeiffer/An imprint of Wiley. All rights reserved. 


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