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10 Reasons Why Personal Accountability Is Important

September 12, 2022
5 min read

As a leader or professional, personal accountability is one of the most important traits you can possess. It allows you to take responsibility for your own actions and decisions, and it builds trust with the people around you.

It's easy to see the benefits of personal accountability, whether you're CEO or just starting an entry-level position. Your team members will know that you're reliable and can be counted on. 

You'll be a more effective leader (or employee) because you can focus on your goals rather than on defending yourself. And you'll work in a more positive work environment. When team members feel that their leaders and colleagues are accountable, they're more likely to be engaged and productive.

Poised wants to dive deeper into personal accountability and why it matters:

What Is Personal Accountability? 

Personal accountability means being responsible for your individual actions. Leaders and professionals should always be accountable for their decisions and the impact they have on others. Otherwise, they will constantly struggle to connect and build trust with their teams.

Let's take a look at a few famous leaders who kept themselves personally accountable:

Abraham Lincoln was known for taking personal ownership of his actions. He always made sure that he was well-informed about the decisions he made and the impact they would have on others. As a result, Lincoln was able to earn the trust of his team and lead the country through the Civil War.

Steve Jobs always made sure that he had a clear understanding of what his team was working on and how it would impact customers. He was able to provide clear direction and maintain a high level of quality control.

General Stanley McChrystal never made a decision without a complete understanding of the situation. He avoided many mistakes with this approach and ensured that his troops were properly trained.

Sheryl Sandberg is known for being one of the most accountable leaders in the tech industry. She always ensures she understands the risks and benefits of her decisions before moving forward. This has helped her avoid critical mistakes and maintain a high level of transparency with her team.

Indra Nooyi is constantly questioning herself and looking for ways to improve her decision-making process. Her personal accountability helps her to stay ahead of the competition and make better decisions for her company.

10 Reasons Why Personal Accountability Matters

Personal accountability is one of the most crucial traits a leader can possess for their career and relationships. Here are ten reasons to make it a priority in your career:

1. It Helps You Lead by Example

You must assume personal ownership of your actions to be a good leader. By being personally accountable, you set an example for your team and show them that you take your responsibilities seriously. When your team knows that you're willing to own up to your mistakes, they'll be more likely to do the same. This creates a culture of trust and honesty, which is essential for any successful organization.

Here are some ways to set a stellar example for your team:

  • Be honest and authentic. People respect honesty and authenticity, and they are more likely to trust someone who is upfront and honest. Be yourself, and don't try to be someone you're not.
  • Be positive. Always look on the bright side, and find the silver lining in every situation. Be upbeat and positive, even in difficult times.
  • Be humble. No one likes a know-it-all, so be humble and let others shine. Recognize your own strengths and weaknesses, and give credit where it's due.
  • Be respectful. Show respect for others, regardless of their position or status. Treat everyone with kindness and courtesy, even if you don't agree with them.
  • Be responsive. When people reach out to you, respond promptly and courteously. Show that you’re listening and care about what they have to say.

Following these tips will help you set a prime example for others and become a better leader in the process.

2. It Keeps You Consistent With Your Values

When you're accountable to yourself, you're more likely to stay true to your values because you're constantly questioning your decisions and looking for ways to improve. By being accountable, you ensure your actions are in line with your beliefs and that you're always working towards your goals.

It's important to have a strong sense of personal accountability if you want to be successful in your career. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and lose sight of your goals. When you're accountable to yourself, you're more likely to stay focused on your values and stay on track. Of course, it's also essential to have an accountability partner that isn't afraid to tell you when you stray from your values and goals.

3. It Stops You From Making Bad Decisions

When you're accountable to yourself, you're more likely to make smart decisions since you're constantly thinking about the consequences of your actions and how they will affect your goals. As a result, you're less likely to make impulsive decisions that could lead to problems down the road.

Making decisions is a critical part of any job, and it's vital to consult with trusted team members and other experts when making decisions that impact the company. By getting input from others, you can ensure you're making the best possible decision for the organization.

There are many benefits to consulting with others when making decisions. First, it builds trust. 

When employees know that their leaders are taking their input into account, they feel more confident in the decisions being made. It also encourages innovation and creativity because getting different perspectives equips you to come up with better solutions to problems.

4. It Helps You Keep Your Word

When you're accountable to yourself, you're more likely to keep your word. This is because you're always looking for ways to follow through on your commitments. Being accountable creates a sense of trust and reliability, both with your team and with yourself.

It's essential to be reliable and consistent in your work, especially when you're in a leadership position. When people know they can count on you, they'll want to follow your lead. And you must be honest with yourself. If you make a commitment to someone, follow through on it. Doing so will go a long way in building trust and strengthening relationships.

5. It Gives You a Support System

When you're accountable to others, you suddenly have a support system in place. People are there cheering you on, offering advice, and helping you stay on track. With a lack of accountability, it's easy to get off track and feel like you're going it alone. Staying the course is much easier when you have people in your corner.

Accountability also works both ways. Not only are you held accountable by others, but you also learn to be accountable to yourself. This is an essential life skill that will serve you well in the workplace and all other areas of your life.

6. It Helps You Learn From Your Mistakes

While no one loves making mistakes, being wrong now and again is actually good for us, according to science. A study from 2018 showed that after making a mistake, participants were more likely to be correct later. 

Personal accountability allows you to learn from your mistakes and become a better leader over time. When you're accountable for your actions as a leader, you're more likely to reflect on what went wrong and take steps to improve in the future. This process of reflection and improvement is essential for any leader who wants to be successful in the long term.

Personal accountability also allows you to build trust with your team. If your team knows that you're willing to take responsibility for your mistakes, they'll want to trust you and follow your lead.

7. It Helps You Make Tough Decisions

We all face tough decisions at some point in our lives. Some of us are better at making these decisions than others. But one thing that can help us all make better decisions is personal accountability.

When we're accountable to ourselves, we're more likely to take the time to consider all the options and make the best decision possible. We're also more likely to follow through on our decisions because we know we'll be the ones facing the consequences if things don't go as planned.

Of course, personal accountability isn't always easy. It can be hard to hold ourselves accountable when we're under pressure from others or feeling uncertain about what the right decision is. But if we can learn to be more accountable to ourselves, we'll be better leaders and decision-makers.

8. It Stops You From Getting Egotistical

There's a saying that goes, "ego is the enemy." In leadership, ego can be a major obstacle to success. When you're focused on your own ego, you're not focused on what's best for the team. You're more likely to make decisions that benefit yourself rather than the people you're supposed to be leading.

That's why it's so important to be personally accountable as a leader. When you're accountable, you focus on results, not yourself. You're more likely to make decisions that are in the best interest of the team, even if it means sacrificing your own ego.

Being personally accountable doesn't mean that you're perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, including leaders. But when you're accountable, you own up to your mistakes and learn from them. You don’t make excuses or blame others, and you don't let your ego get in the way of your learning process.

9. It Keeps You Focused on Your Goals

One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to stay focused on your goals. Personal accountability can help you do this by keeping you on track and ensuring that you're always working towards your goals.

Being accountable to yourself means that you're always aware of what you need to do to achieve your mission. You must set clear goals and deadlines, hold yourself accountable for meeting them, and avoid procrastination at all costs. Many leaders find it helpful to establish a daily or weekly schedule.

Accountability also means being honest with yourself about your progress. If you're not meeting your goals, don't be afraid to admit it and make a plan to get back on track. It's also important to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may be.

10. It Boosts Your Self-Confidence

When you're accountable, you're more likely to believe in yourself and your ability to lead. You're more likely to take risks, innovate, and inspire others to believe in you and follow your lead.

Self-confidence doesn't mean that you're always going to be successful. But it does mean that you stand a better chance of achieving your goals because you believe in yourself and your ability to make things happen.

How Do You Get Personal Accountability?

Finding at least one accountability partner is crucial for staying accountable to yourself, your values, and your goals. Here are two surefire ways to gain personal accountability:

Find a Professional Mentor or Coach

There's nothing like having someone in your corner who can help you stay accountable to your goals. A professional mentor or coach can be that person for you, and they can help you become a better leader in the process.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a professional mentor or coach:

  • Make sure they're someone you respect and can learn from.
  • They should be someone who is willing to challenge you and help you grow.
  • They should be someone you feel comfortable talking to about your goals and challenges.

Once you've found the right mentor or coach, be sure to schedule regular check-ins so you can stay on track. And don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. A good mentor or coach will be there to support you every step of the way.

Look for Real-Time Feedback

If you're looking to optimize feedback from your mentor, look no further than the Poised Communication Coach. This app provides live video coaching so you can see exactly how you're doing on your video calls. You'll be able to get tips and feedback in real-time, helping you improve your communication skills and overall video call performance.


Seeking personal accountability means that you're willing to take responsibility for your own actions and decisions, as well as those of your team. This shows that you're committed to your team's success and willing to do whatever it takes to help them succeed.

Prioritizing personal accountability sets a valuable example for your team and makes you a more effective leader. And both your professional life and personal life will benefit!


How To Lead Your Team Through Tough Times | Business News Daily

The Biggest Challenge To Growing as a Leader Is Ego. Here's How To Keep Yours in Check | Inc

Making mistakes while studying actually helps you learn better | ScienceDaily

Say it like you mean it.

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