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Published:August 3rd, 2010 22:52 EST
Personal Accountability Crucial to Your Success

Personal Accountability Crucial to Your Success

By Simon Bailey (Mentor/Columnist)

Simon Says...
Personal Accountability - Your Point of Differentiation

In the New Normal era, meeting expectations simply isn`t enough anymore. If you`re only doing what is required, are you doing your best? Could you do more or are you already on edge?  Doing the bare minimum translates to average, mediocre, just like everyone else. Bare minimum is weak and half-brilliant.

Those who achieve great things push themselves to go the extra mile. Not because they have to or because someone makes them, but because they want to...because they are accountable to themselves. Personal accountability isn`t about a paycheck, a bonus or the end game. It`s about stretching yourself, pushing yourself to learn and grow. Practicing personal accountability is fulfilling and, yes, satisfying.

You are responsible for producing work that matters. Big Brother (in this case, the leadership of your organization) doesn`t have time to look over your shoulder to see if you`re focusing on the right activities consistently, using the company`s time wisely, and spending the company`s resources prudently. When you were hired, you in effect agreed to an unwritten contract that you would take personal responsibility for your actions and represent the organization at all times in a positive light. How are you doing so far in this regard?

Certainly, it is more difficult to be personally accountable to a job, an organization or a volunteer assignment if you`re unsure of your future employment or arrangement. However, I believe that`s the very time when it`s most critical to be personally accountable. Give what author James O`Toole calls "extra effort that is based on innovative ideas, willingness to serve customers and engagement in work tasks." Drive value for your organization, your team, your position, and you`ll almost guarantee your continued employment, even in uncertain economic times.

Personal accountability flows, in part, from a simplified life. Does that surprise you? Perhaps you thought that to go above and beyond expectations would require more multitasking. More and more research confirms that multitasking actually makes you less efficient, not more. According to author Edward Willett, "When you do two things at once, brain power doesn`t increase to meet demand; in fact, it decreases which means you perform each task more poorly than if you focused on one alone."

Simplification is brilliant. Here are a few tips for simplifying your life:

De-clutter your world by employing the OHIO rule as much as possible: Only Handle It Once! To be sure, a clean desk doesn`t necessarily equate to more productive work. But there`s no question that a cluttered area that silently asks you, "Where are you going to begin?" will severely dampen your enthusiasm for giving extra effort. 

Determine your "rhythm" - those times when you`re most alert and "in the zone." Dr. Lothar Seiwert, a simplicity expert, says, "Identify your highly productive periods and root out `inner time thieves` by writing down your work schedule for the week." Then, work on your difficult assignments during those productive times. Why? This is when things come most easily for you and when your inner drive for personal accountability is most alive.  

De-mystify complex tasks and projects by breaking them down into bite-size chunks and then focusing clearly on each chunk. Doing so allows you to focus on the details that drive exceptional and unexpected results. Multi-taskers, whose full attention is not devoted to the task at hand, often don`t take the time to fully understand the breadth and depth of a project, thereby getting only mediocre results.
Each moment of each day, you have the choice to be personally accountable and in control of your destiny. Can you push yourself more? Do you have the internal drive to go the extra mile? Do you exceed expectations because you have to or because you want to?
Simon Believes...that people who take personal accountability for all that they do will rise to the top of any organization as a result of this point of differentiation. 
Experience  it`s going to be brilliant!
Simon says be in Orange County, CA on August 10, 2010. You will be glad that you did my friend.