This is part four of a 4-part series about the four keys you can use to generate breakthrough performance from your work with a consultant. 

Accountability creates a special bond–a bond that can generate the kind of committed partnership with your consultant that yields breakthrough performance.  

Great clients will naturally hold both themselves and their business consultant to account.  They just “are” accountable.

Being accountable is the 4th Key in our series of blogs on how clients can maximize the benefits of the collaboration with their consultant.

As a quick review, the first 3 keys in this series on great clients and breakthrough performance are:

  • #1—The impact of attitude or approach
  • #2—The amazing power of context
  • #3—The commitments you make and the actions you take

What is accountability really?

In essence, accountability is an agreement between two parties–in this case you as a client and your consultant. More rigorously it means:

  • Liable to be called to account: answerable
  • Before the result: providing or governing so as to meet the conditions required that bring about a result
  • After the result: to provide a reckoning of the governing or primary factors

Although the topic of accountability may at first seem dry, being accountable is an integral and lively part of the foundation for inspired action. And its absence can undermine even the best of intentions.

What are some actions that you as a consulting client can take to build the kind of accountability needed for breakthrough performance?

You can hold yourself accountable for:

  • Being prepared for and showing up to agreed upon meetings and sessions.
  • Saying/ promising, what you will produce by when.
  • Scheduling and taking the promised actions.
  • Accounting for what results did/did not happen in a timely way.
  • Saying what actions were or were not taken that gave you those results
  • Making requests of your consultant consistent with intended results (including saying that you are not satisfied and what you need).

You can hold your consultant accountable for:

  • Providing the agreed upon deliverables in a timely way.
  • Doing what they said they would do.
  • Calling them to account when they don’t do what they said.
  • Making requests of you.
  • Supporting you in addressing any breakdowns.

 

Accountability and breakthrough performance

What is the relationship between accountability and generating breakthrough performance?

Holding both yourself and your consultant to account:

  • Builds the condition of integrity essential for producing extraordinary results.
  • Provides the foundation of keeping your word.
  • Builds the trust and reliability from which breakthroughs can be generated.
  • Opens the door to making unreasonable requests and promises which lead to extraordinary performance

These actions, taken consistently, become a natural part of the engagement. Then the bond of accountability provides an integrity that makes breakthrough performance possible for you and those you work with.

INQUIRY: What has the lack of accountability cost you or others? Where has being accountable led to you producing breakthroughs in the past?  What were the results?

 

*Some of the material in this article is derived from the work of Werner Erhard and is used with permission.

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