Who needs accountability, really?
by Jonathan O'Shea
A very large proportion of the business owners I work with will say that one of the key reasons they started their own business was because they didn’t want to have a boss.
Some will claim to be unmanageable and some just don’t like the idea of being managed. They may like to think of themselves as being a free spirit that likes to go where their genius takes them, uninhibited by somebody checking up on them to see if they’re doing what somebody else wants them to do – you can put as much anger and outrage as you feel appropriate in your voice as you read that last bit!
There does though come a point in any business when this can become a cause of inhibiting growth rather than promoting it.
You may be one of the lucky few that have a natural rigour and discipline over your own behaviour which means that you hit every deadline and ensure that you always focus your attention on the most important things all of the time.
But, in reality, there are very few people who have this natural talent. The impact of this on your business may well end up being slower than desired growth and progression because the key areas are not been worked on at the right time and in the right way.
So how do you overcome this?
For a lot of larger businesses this is overcome by having non-executive members of the Board who bring an independent perspective to the business and ensure that the focus remains in the right areas to achieve the level of growth desired by the business and the shareholders. They effectively hold the executive to account and make sure they are staying true to the plans they have set out to achieve their growth plans.
For smaller businesses, that cannot afford to hire a team of non-executives, it is not so easy to get this accountability, but there are options to achieve this in a different way.
The usual routes to this are either via friends, family, business coaches, mentors or, and these are becoming more and more popular, peer boards.
A peer board enables you to get the support and accountability that all businesses need. At The Alternative Board we have found the combination of peer boards and one to one coaching to be extremely powerful.
In fact a recent survey we undertook of our members showed that their revenue growth outperformed the national average by 5.4 times. A big part of this stunning achievement is down to the accountability and support they receive from their peer board colleagues.
This is a degree of support and accountability that will not be achieved by a friend, family member or individual business coach or mentor. There is real power in a group holding each other to account.
I would therefore argue that every business owner needs some accountability and the right, structured accountability can really make you, and your business, grow far beyond what you would achieve if it was all left to your own devices.
So, are you getting the accountability you and your business needs?
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