While some people look at the past year and say they are glad it is over, others will celebrate the past.  What’s the difference in these two mindsets?  According to my friend Sam Silverstein, author of the book, “No More Excuses,” it is accountability.


There are consequences, good and/or bad, for everything we do and the way we think.  Here are Sam’s five areas of accountability which can turn potentially negative consequences into your competitive advantage.


Right things: Be accountable for doing the right things consistently.  Simply put, know what activities will help you achieve your strategic intent and focus daily on those endeavors.


New space: Be accountable for managing your space for new opportunities.  Look for opportunities and alternatives that take you out of your comfort zone.  Yes, this is a risk, but the return can be very high.


Process: Be accountable for managing the process when you hit an obstacle.  It is inevitable that you will encounter adversities and setbacks when you pursue your goals.  So, how will you deal with them?  You must accept them, own them and deal with them – because they are yours.


Expectations: Be accountable for establishing the right personal expectations, also known as goals.  Setting expectations/goals too low means you will underachieve.  Setting them too high can lead to frustration, which could cause you to make bad choices.  Take time to think them through.  The targets you set for yourself will have a huge impact on your actual achievement.


Relationships: Be accountable for your relationships.  Contribute to them.  When we give help to others, many times personal gain naturally follows.   I’m reminded of what Zig Ziglar used to say.  “If you help enough others get what they want, you will get what you want.”  Some call this the Law of Reciprocity.


My take on accountability is that we don’t blame others for what happens to us.  We own our experiences and have control over how we feel and deal with them.  It’s not about what happens to you.  It is how you respond or react to it.  You own it.  It’s yours.  No excuses – which is why Sam Silverstein’s new book is titled, “No More Excuses.”


Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: shep@hyken.com  Web: www.hyken.com. For information on customer service training, go to www.TheCustomerFocus.com.


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