The Power of Accountability

For both small and large organizations, success often boils down to one characteristic – people taking accountability. This means that employees, even of entrepreneurial firms, need to make minute-by-minute choices without burdensome levels of bureaucratic interference from business owners.

In small businesses (florist, dry cleaner, law practice or pizza franchise) owners are usually on premises and handle the bulk of customer and supplier interactions. But as those same businesses start to grow, the people hired become the face — and the reputation — of the business. In many ways profitability and ultimately our viability depends on them.

Unfortunately, too many employees still relate to their jobs with an antiquated frame of reference – a place to go for a specified amount of time to get paid for performing a set of tasks. This mindset was sufficient when jobs consisted of “pick this up, take it over there and put it in that box.” But today, nearly every job requires employees to interact with internal or external customers and make choices that have financial or reputational impact, and being oriented around merely fulfilling tasks is wholly inadequate.

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