In my recent article, How Great Leaders Stay Ahead, I highlighted the seven critical competencies essential for Leadership Intelligence (LQ): accountability, continual learning, confidence & patience, time management & dependability, risk-taking, adaptability to change, and visualization.  Throughout my upcoming articles, I will be unpacking each of these competencies, starting with accountability. Simply put, accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, decisions, thoughts, intentions, and ultimately behaviors. Per Gallup research,

65% of managers are not engaged in their work and
frequently avoid challenging situations.

These managers are struggling to have accountability for their work and position in the company. Every time a leader accepts a paycheck for their work, it is an acknowledgment that they have put forth their best efforts.  A leader who is not fully engaged, and expects a full paycheck, breaches their accountability to the organization. This notion leads me to point out where I believe the roots of accountability lie – with the concept of Character Quotient (“CQ”).

Character quotient represents the strength of your character.

While your brain may be valuable to someone else (i.e., an employer), your beliefs only hold value to you. Character quotient raises the question of what sum you would command to compromise your beliefs. A person with a high CQ would be unlikely to compromise their beliefs based on temptations such as money or a promotion. This integrity makes them a great asset to an organization.  Beyond being an asset, with proper alignment,

CQ contributes to high levels of accountability.

As an example, if you place a high value on integrity will be more likely to stand by their commitments. We are all more likely to have higher degrees of accountability when someone else is hovering over to hold us to our word, or when our actions are more visible. Real accountability is achieved when you fully understand your role in every situation and outcome.

You must exercise self-discipline.

There are small habits and shifts in your approach that can bolster your self-discipline and accountability to your commitments.  Up there with self-discipline is the ability and consciousness not to shift the blame to others.  You cannot only take credit for the best results, but you must also be willing to identify your role in the less desirable consequences as well, regardless of the genesis of the problem.

Leaders, are you ready to take a massive step in your growth?  If the answer is “yes,” take a long hard look at how you define and assess your level of accountability. If you need some help making a change for the better, schedule a free consultation with me and we’ll work through it together.

Read next week’s article to discover the next critical competency essential for Leadership Intelligence.