In today’s world, there is a lot of discussion on accountability. Accountability can be difficult to find in the workplace and many people are struggling with how to make this happen. In order for accountability to exist, it must come from within an individual and the business they work in should not have a blame culture.
Having spent a lot of time recently working with investors it got us thinking about the lessons we have learnt from hearing their stories about the people they meet. Today, we are discussing the nuances of life and how in our race to achieve something, like accountability.
There are both costs to doing something and the cost of not doing it.
With exposure there is a risk of being exposed and if you don’t have a reason to be in a meeting why would you attend. It could expose you for wasting company time and resources as one example.
In the video and podcast below Kim-Adele explains why with accountability comes accountability!
With accountability comes accountability!
So yes, you want to get exposure for your people. Yes. You want the board to be able to see that you’ve got talent in your team. You also want to ensure that they’re not exposed. They’re not put in a position that they’re not ready for yet so that they can’t answer. So taking the time to think about what is it you’re trying to achieve? And are you ready for it is really important. And if you want to be accountable, if you are accountable – you are accountable!
So if you’ve got the accountability, you are then accountable for making it happen. And it might sound really obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t understand that and are almost taken aback when they are held to account for the thing that they are accountable for.
We live in a world of polarity for every up there’s a down for every left there’s a right. So there’s always the opposite side to every coin that’s being shown.
When you’re seeking investment, you already know not only the happy path, but you know, what could happen if it goes wrong and you have a plan of what you will do in that eventuality because they’re looking for is somebody that understands that whilst that is what you’re trying to do, something might not go to plan. And therefore, are you aware of what that might be? And do you already have a plan of what you do if that were to happen?
With great power comes great responsibility
With great power comes great responsibility, right? those people are in essence trusting you and your company with their money. And if you are to take that responsibility of someone’s money. To just take the money and not actually be accountable for that is a, is a huge mistake.
But equally what you’re doing when you’re pitching to an investor in the first instance is you’re trying to demonstrate to them that you’re a good bet. That you’re a good risk. Most investors and most investment houses know that they are taking a risk, but it’s about taking a calculated risk that sits within their risk appetite, whatever that risk appetite is.
So what they’re looking for is to understand your idea on a deeper level, does it make sense? Do they believe in it? But then what they’re looking for is do they believe in you?
The person that’s seeking the investment, do they think you’ve got what it takes to be able to bring that to life and make that happen? And do they think it’s do-able?
Do they think the plan that you’ve got is going to work? And as we know, from the studies by Harvard, the majority of people don’t have a written down goal, but those people that had a written down goal and had a plan, even if the plan wasn’t actually a working plan, they had a plan nevertheless.
When they started to put a plan together. Thinking that started to take the right steps. Beginning with “How might I get from where I am to where I want to go?” Delivered results, 10 times those of the people that had got even just an idea and not a written down plan of where to get to.
So that’s really what the investor is looking for; have you looked at it and said, I’m asking you to believe in me, believing in my ability to make this business work, to make this idea, turn into something. So to do that, you want to be able to take them through the steps that you’re going to take and show that you are taking real accountability for your role because you’re really trying to sell to them. It’s the first person you’re going to sell to, you are selling it to them.
And then from their money, you’re going to be able to build what it is you’re looking to build, go out and market it and start selling to your end customer.
So bearing that in mind, think about what would give you confidence if you were the one with the money; that this is a good opportunity for me to invest my money and a good chance of return. We often focus just on the money. It’s like if we do a really good job with the numbers and we say, you know, he’d give me 10 pounds and I’m going to give 10 million. And we think all of a sudden was going to buy into that.
Well, they’re going to need to know that that’s likely and might sound great. It might look very plausible, but actually, do you know the steps that you’re going to need to take? Do you have the right route to market? Are you different enough? Is there something unique enough about what you’re doing that makes it likely that you’re going to be able to succeed and taking it through those steps really does help.
It’s down to the team that you are bringing on as advisors in the beginning. Researching and looking at the skills, abilities, the track records of the people who make up the management team, that will give an investor and investment house a lot of confidence.
Whether you’re seeking investment or you’re just running your own business and you don’t need that sort of investment, getting the right team around you is crucial. And really what you want to be doing is finding people that are strong at the things you’re not strong at, which means you’ve got to be really self-aware.
You’ve got to know what it is that you’re not good at what it is that you don’t enjoy, or that you’re not really very adept at because once you know those, they’re the, they’re the skills that you are now going to go and recruit. And hopefully, you’ll recruit people that are brilliant at the things that you’re not very good at. Good at the things you’re not brilliant at. So actually both of you grow as a result of it, but it’s about getting that collective.
In a nutshell, it’s often where ego gets in the way because we’re told not to share that we’re not good at something. We have to get past that ego and say I know I’m not good at this or I can do it but it’s actually not something that brings me joy. Website building is an example where I’m asked to create the website but it doesn’t bring me joy.
The people we work with are crucial. As investors talk about the challenges of getting the right team. One of those challenges is accountability. It’s about knowing what you’re not good at and delegating those tasks to someone who is better than you, so you can spend more time doing what you’re amazing at.
It’s also about taking accountability for your actions and making sure that things happen, and that people know what needs to be done and what has been done. Accountability starts with accountability to yourself first, acknowledging the skills that you have and which ones you need more of. Accountability also means taking responsibility for your actions like giving deadlines and following up on them.
The most successful people find the people who are good at what they’re not. The most successful people have strong accountability to themselves and their actions. You need to identify your skills, choose the work you enjoy and be honest about what you’re not good at.
The difference between accountability and blame culture has been highlighted. It is important to note that shame does not help anyone grow or evolve. A blame culture can lead to people feeling like failures which discourage them from taking any risks. Accountability, on the other hand, leads to people understanding beforehand how something can go wrong and instead of dwelling on past mistakes, they try to learn from them and make changes.
The whole point of it is to constantly keep looking at how you can continually improve. We follow the Japanese “Kaizen” approach.
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