How accountability can lead to business success and increased productivity in the workplace

David FullerDo you play your guitar at work?

In 1988, business was so slow that I would go to my office at the back of our store, close the door, take my guitar out, put my feet up on the desk and start strumming.

While it was soothing for the soul, it wasn’t very productive.

After a couple of months of this, I started to get bored singing to myself.

I decided that if the business was going to be successful, it was going to be up to me, and I was going to have to get to work. I set some goals and went out to achieve them, but it was difficult. I really had no one to keep me accountable.

business success accountability

Photo by Adi Goldstein


It’s 2024 now, and if you’re like me, you probably have some goals that you want to achieve. The problem for business leaders like you and me is that there’s a 93 percent failure rate (according to a Workplace accountability study of 40,000 business leaders) in aligning our goals and being accountable for the intended results that we set out for ourselves.

As you already know from experience, our resolutions for a better business often fall by the wayside because we get sidetracked. We go off chasing rabbits and, as the Chinese proverb says, “The hunter who chases two rabbits catches neither one.”

If you want to get more done, achieve better results, become more successful, be more profitable, or have a better work/life balance, there’s one thing you can do that will make all the difference: find someone to hold you accountable.

In fact, the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65 percent chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with someone you’ve committed to, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95 percent. Wouldn’t you like to achieve 95 percent of the goals you set out for yourself?

And it’s not just you as a leader who needs help. The Workplace study revealed that 91 percent of people rank accountability as one of the top development needs they’d like to see in their business. This means your staff wants to be held accountable as well.

I often hear business owners complain that their staff doesn’t do what’s required of them. They have employees who are hard to manage, and if they want something done right, they have to do it themselves.

When I ask who’s responsible for this failure, they only occasionally tell me that they, as leaders, are responsible. We’re failing to hold them accountable. The Workplace study reveals that 91 percent of employees have concluded that more accountability is needed in their companies.

I grew my business into a multimillion-dollar operation with dozens of employees because I found a way to keep myself accountable. We had processes in place that ensured our employees were accountable, and I reported quarterly to my partners.

This left less time to play the guitar but more money to pay employees to do my work, expand the business and enjoy life in other ways.

Are you ready to be accountable?

Dave Fuller is a Commercial and Business Realtor, an award-winning business coach, and business author.

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