Accountability means taking ownership of the results that have been produced.
Every consultant knows that there's no perfect project. We often need to solve complex problems, deal with people of different personalities, and deliver results as fast as possible. Helping our clients get the results they want is a huge challenge - a lot of things we don't control can go wrong.
But when something doesn't go according to your plan, what do you do? Do you blame others and/or the circumstances, or do you take ownership of the issues?
Adopting radical accountability made me a better consultant and advisor, and I bet it will also do you some good. Doing so is really simple:
Every time you identify an issue or unexpected challenge in your engagements, proactively develop a plan of action for each one of them and present it to your client.
Don't wait to see if the client notices it. Don't wait for it to get worse.
When you fail to quickly address your clients’ problems, you send them two messages:
- You don’t care enough to make sure they receive what you sold them, and
- You don’t know how (or don’t have what it takes) to fix the problem.
Either message can damage your relationship, reputation, and ability to make the project a success.