The 5 Rules of Accountability in Leadership

By Kimberley Borgens

As women entrepreneurs, we possess incredible drive, ambition, and vision that sets our hearts ablaze. But amidst the whirlwind of decisions, actions, and pressures, how do we ensure that we stay on track and reach new heights of success? The answer lies in the power of accountability in leadership.

In this fast-paced business world, accountability is the secret ingredient that fuels productivity, sharpens focus, and enhances decision-making skills. It empowers you to take ownership of your actions, measure your progress, and stay aligned with your goals. Without accountability, progress can stagnate, and what we hope to achieve can remain distant aspirations.

To truly thrive as a confident leader, you need a well-defined system of accountability – a roadmap that keeps you on the path to success. To get you there, I’m sharing the five essential rules of accountability that will transform you into a confident and productive leader. Together, we’ll embark on a journey of growth, empowerment, and remarkable achievements!

Rule 1: Accept responsibility for your actions toward success

We may think of “responsibility” as a four-letter word, but accepting responsibility for your actions is one of the foundational pillars of accountability. This isn’t referring to placing blame but understanding the significance of taking ownership and acknowledging that your success is directly tied to the choices you make.

Seeing how your actions affect outcomes

Accepting responsibility means embracing the connection between your actions and their outcomes. It’s about recognizing that every decision, big or small, has the potential to shape your path forward. Acknowledging this connection empowers you to make intentional choices that align with your vision and goals.

Think of it this way: each choice you make becomes a building block, guiding you closer to or farther from your desired destination. By recognizing this connection between your decisions and what comes from them, you gain a heightened awareness and intentionality. Embracing this truth empowers you to navigate your path with purpose, forging a trajectory of success that is deeply rooted in the choices you make along the way.

Embracing self-reflection

But accountability in leadership goes beyond merely accepting responsibility for the positive outcomes. It also encompasses a willingness to learn from mistakes and self-reflect. As an entrepreneur, you are bound to encounter challenges, setbacks, and unexpected turns along the way. When you choose to view these obstacles as opportunities for growth rather than roadblocks, you put yourself in charge of shaping your own future.

When faced with a setback, take a moment for self-reflection. Examine the situation objectively and identify areas where you could have made different choices or taken alternative approaches. By engaging in this practice, you gain valuable insights that allow you to course-correct and move forward with newfound wisdom.

Mistakes are not signs of failure; they are stepping stones on the path to success. Embrace them as learning opportunities, and let them fuel your growth. By approaching your missteps with a growth mindset, you transform them into valuable lessons that inform your future decisions and actions.

Rule 2: Communicate your vision, values, and goals

Collaboration is an essential aspect of any thriving business. But, the power of communication extends far beyond exchanging ideas and information. When it comes to accountability, effective communication becomes a vital tool in your arsenal. Rule 2 emphasizes sharing your vision, values, and goals with others to propel your entrepreneurial journey forward.

Sharing your vision

When you communicate your aspirations, you breathe life into them. By articulating your vision, you not only solidify it in your own mind but also create a sense of purpose and direction for those around you. Sharing your vision ignites passion and enthusiasm, inspiring others to rally behind your cause and support you on your entrepreneurial path.

But it’s not just about sharing your vision with anyone and everyone. Accountability requires identifying the right individuals who can play a significant role in supporting and holding you accountable. You want to identify people who resonate with your vision, understand your values, and genuinely believe in your potential.

Building a supportive network

Building a network of like-minded individuals who align with your vision and values creates a powerful support system. Surrounding yourself with individuals who share your entrepreneurial spirit and drive can uplift and propel you toward success. These are the people who cheer you on during triumphs and are happy to offer guidance, feedback, and constructive criticism when needed.

Choose your inner circle wisely. Seek out mentors, colleagues, and friends who can provide valuable insights, challenge your thinking, and hold you accountable lovingly. They will become your trusted confidants, offering fresh perspectives, encouragement, and a gentle nudge when you need it the most.

Remember, accountability is not just about having others hold you to your commitments; it’s about fostering a community that believes in your potential and wants to see you thrive. You create an ecosystem that nurtures growth, support, and mutual accountability by surrounding yourself with individuals who share your passion and understand your journey.

Rule 3: Surround yourself with the right people

As we touched on in Rule 2, the journey to success is not one you should embark on alone. Rule 3 emphasizes the significance of intentionally curating your inner circle, surrounding yourself with individuals who will uplift, inspire, and hold you accountable on your entrepreneurial path.

Selecting your inner circle

Being selective with your inner circle is crucial. While seeking validation from everyone around you is tempting, not everyone will understand your journey or have your best interests at heart. By carefully choosing the people you allow into your inner circle, you create a supportive environment that nurtures your growth, motivates you, and helps you stay focused.

The right people in your life will be your cheerleaders, offering steadfast support and encouragement. They genuinely believe in your abilities and dreams, and their unwavering belief will give you the confidence and strength you need to push forward. They will celebrate your successes with you, inspire you to overcome obstacles and remind you of your capabilities when self-doubt creeps in.

Look for honesty

However, surrounding yourself with the right people is about more than just receiving praise and affirmation. True accountability requires constructive feedback and honest conversations. The individuals in your inner circle should be willing to challenge you, push you out of your comfort zone, and provide you with valuable insights that contribute to your personal growth and development.

Positive and constructive feedback plays a pivotal role in refining your skills, expanding your perspectives, and uncovering blind spots. It’s through this feedback that you can gain new insights, learn from your mistakes, and continuously improve. The right people in your life will offer feedback with empathy, kindness, and a genuine desire to see you succeed.

Accountability in leadership is not about surrounding yourself with “yes-men” or “yes-women.” It’s about surrounding yourself with those who believe in you and your potential while also being willing to provide honest feedback and guidance. If someone has your best interest at heart, they will challenge you to become the best version of yourself, constantly pushing you to reach new heights.

Rule 4: Course correct when necessary

In the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship, setbacks and challenges are bound to arise. With this understanding, it’s essential to embrace Rule 4, which emphasizes the need to course correct when necessary. This rule highlights the importance of adaptability, learning from mistakes, and staying focused on the path to success.

Adapt to unforeseen circumstances

No matter how well you plan or how meticulously you execute your strategies, unforeseen circumstances can disrupt your journey. It could be a market shift, a product launch that didn’t go as expected, or even internal challenges within your team. Instead of viewing these hurdles as insurmountable roadblocks, it’s crucial to approach them as opportunities for growth and learning.

Adaptability becomes your superpower in these situations. It’s the ability to assess the current state of affairs, identify what’s not working, and make necessary adjustments to get back on track. It requires flexibility, open-mindedness, and the willingness to let go of preconceived notions or plans that no longer serve your goals.

Learn from setbacks

When you encounter setbacks, it’s important not to dwell on them or let them discourage you. Instead, view them as valuable learning experiences. Take the time to reflect on what went wrong, identify the lessons learned, and use that knowledge to make informed future decisions. 

By doing so, you prevent history from repeating itself as you pave the way for greater success.

Staying focused on the path to success is crucial during times of course correction. It’s easy to get distracted or lose sight of your goals when faced with unexpected challenges. However, by maintaining a clear vision of where you want to go and regularly revisiting your goals, you can stay aligned with your purpose and make decisions that bring you closer to your desired outcomes.

Remember, course correction is not a sign of failure; it’s a testament to your resilience and adaptability. It’s the ability to adjust your sails when the winds change direction, ensuring you stay on course toward your ultimate destination. Stay agile, be willing to make the necessary adjustments, and use setbacks as stepping stones toward your success.

Rule 5: Accountability should be supportive, not punitive

When it comes to accountability, many people associate it with punishment or being reprimanded for not meeting expectations. However, it’s crucial to understand and embrace Rule 5, which states that accountability should be supportive, not punitive. Shifting the perspective of accountability allows you to create an environment that fosters growth, collaboration, and personal well-being.

Accountability is not a punishment

Instead of viewing accountability as a tool to criticize or chastise, see it as a form of support and encouragement. Accountability becomes a powerful ally on your entrepreneurial journey, guiding you through challenges and propelling you toward success. By reframing your mindset, you unlock personal and professional growth potential, leveraging accountability to overcome obstacles and reach new heights.

One of the key aspects of supportive accountability is creating a safe space for open and honest communication. Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about your success and well-being. These individuals should be trusted confidants, mentors, or fellow entrepreneurs who share similar values and aspirations. They become your accountability partners, offering guidance, motivation, and constructive feedback.

An ecosystem of accountability

Within this supportive environment, accountability partners become instrumental in holding you accountable to your commitments and goals. They encourage you when you succeed, celebrate milestones, and offer guidance when you encounter roadblocks. They become a sounding board for ideas, a source of inspiration, and a gentle nudge when you need to refocus.

Embracing supportive accountability also means being willing to receive and act upon feedback. Constructive criticism should be seen as an opportunity for growth rather than a personal attack. When someone provides feedback or highlights areas for improvement, approach it with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Remember, they have your best interests in mind and want to see you succeed.

By creating an environment that fosters growth, collaboration, and personal well-being, you cultivate a culture of accountability that supports everyone’s journey. Encourage transparency, empathy, and a sense of community. Celebrate not only individual achievements but also collective wins. When accountability is viewed as a form of support, it becomes a driving force that fuels personal and professional development.

Harnessing the Power of Accountability

It’s time to implement the 5 Rules of Accountability and experience their remarkable benefits in your leadership journey. Doing so will enhance your confidence, increase your productivity, and lead with clarity and purpose.

You have the power to create a thriving and successful business. By embracing accountability and integrating these rules into your daily practices, you will unlock your true potential and inspire those around you.

Kimberley Borgens

About the author

Kimberley Borgens was married at 18, a mother at 19, and divorced at 20, she has journeyed from being a single mom on welfare to recognizing her strengths, fighting for what she believes in, and successfully building 5 thriving businesses with hundreds of employees and million-dollar budgets. Kimberley is a speaker, business mentor, and coaches her clients to transform their small business into a thriving business. Kimberley is living her own legacy as she inspires and motivates women to be fearless, become more like a CEO of their business and life, and enjoy the freedom they've dreamed of. She knows what it's like to start from nothing and build a strong solid business and she can help you too.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}