Having an accountability partner will close the gap

Pustelak-Lisa-174-3By Lisa Pustelak, RCDA Senior Consultant

Last month while providing embedded support services with one of our clients, it became apparent that I could confirm a long-standing belief: We are much more likely to do the things we know will improve our performance if there is someone around consistently to push us to actually do these things. That someone is an accountability partner.

A friend in the financial services industry told me that her company would put out new rules all the time. They would make a big deal and threaten the sales teams with consequences if they didn’t write a certain dollar amount’s worth of business, or make 50 cold calls per week, that kind of thing. She went on to tell me that she didn’t get all worked up about these consequences because no one ever followed up on the programs, and they just went away.

It is no wonder their sales were stagnant! There was a lack of accountability all the way around.

Accountability can be one of those words that give off a negative vibe. However, implementing a program with built-in accountability can make a significant difference in the success of a program. This is one of the many reasons Robert C. Davis and Associates (RCDA) ensures built-in accountability for everything we do.

It’s no secret that holding yourself accountable can be difficult. After being introduced to the concept of accountability partners a few years ago, I immediately saw the value. Every time I embark on a large project or goal, I build in an accountability partner.

In our embedded support program referenced above, formal coaching was new to the leadership team. Not only did we help them learn how to do effective coaching, we also helped them figure out how to make time to do effective coaching with their team. We heard more often than not, “We don’t have time to do coaching.”

It was interesting how many managers participated in training and were completely on board and in agreement with everything we were teaching until we showed up at their desks and said, “You’re scheduled to do coaching with Sue. Are you ready?” This triggered looks of panic, confusion, bewilderment and, every once in a while, an embarrassed smile. Fortunately, since we were serving as the accountability partner, whether they were ready or not, the managers would stop what they were doing and get ready to coach a team member.

As the leaders got better at coaching something very exciting started to happen. The team members started thanking the managers for the time they were spending with them! Can you believe that? Something that scared the daylights out of the team members and the managers initially was creating positive results across the board. The team members were getting better at providing a positive customer experience, and the managers were enjoying seeing the metrics that they were responsible for improving. It was all a result of actually doing the expected coaching.

Remember what Bob Proctor said: “The biggest gap in your life is between what you know and what you do.” Doing what you know will create a culture of growth and development for you and your team. Finding an accountability partner to help keep you on track will close that gap.

Learn more about RCDA embedded support.