May 23rd, 2023

As a business owner, being trustworthy is a huge contributing factor as to whether you have the ability to scale your business or not. Because as your business gets larger, and the stakes get higher, it is imperative that those around you trust you to follow through. I have seen far too many leaders, who say that they will do X,Y,Z and fail to deliver on those promises. And that happens time and time again. And not only does that affect your team’s ability to trust you moving forward, but can lead your customers and clients to lose faith in you as well. So today, I wanted to talk about a few ways that you can not only close the accountability loop in your business dealings, but how to do so in a way that helps you lead with integrity.

It’s Not Just About Getting It Done

So you have promised to do something, and you did it. Congratulations! You were productive, but you still aren’t being accountable. You can’t just get it done. You’ve got to tell the other person that you’re getting it done and you have to do so in a strategic manner. Let’s say that I met a new business colleague at a conference and I promised to send her a copy of my most recent book.

“Linda, I’ll get you a copy of that book emailed over to you by the close of business tomorrow.”  And then when I send out that book, I am going to include a note that reads “Hi, Linda:  As promised, here is the copy of the book that we talked about at the conference yesterday.”  And I’ll use that specific language: “As promised.” And there are a few reasons why that is so important. First, she may have spoken to a dozen people that morning and there is always the possibility that she doesn’t remember your interaction. So, including more information is always helpful. Second, you are closing the accountability loop. You told her you would send out the book, and here it is as promised. And thirdly, you are helping establish your trustworthiness and integrity. In the future, should you do business together, you have already established the fact that you fulfill your promises and can be accountable for things that you say you will do.

Progress Not Perfection

Now will you always close the accountability loop every single time you promise something? Not likely. No one’s perfect.  You just have to do your best to model the level of behavior that you’re asking people around you to do. And make it a deliberate practice to try. Keep a notebook with you and take notes. Send a follow up email to colleagues and business associates after meetings with any documents or links that you may have promised then. Close the accountability loop after completing tasks that were asked of you. Over time, the more often you do this, the more automatic it will become. And with it, you will be seen as more trustworthy to those around you.