Transformation Advisors, Inc.
B.I.G. Strategies for Business Excellence

Accountability – A Strategic Imperative

If you’re the top dog, to whom are you accountable? No one? That would seem to be the case if you read the news. Many of the problems we are experiencing in this country can be traced to what appears to be a growing lack of accountability at all levels of government and business.

Lack of accountability has resulted in an economy in chaos and a dysfunctional government so far in debt that no one can see a way back to prosperity. Sometimes it feels as if “It’s not my fault” may soon replace “In God we trust,” as our national motto.


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Pamela A. Millard, CPCU

Pamela A. Millard, CPCU 530.295.1083


Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen.

Accountability is a requirement – a strategic imperative. Without it we can’t grow and prosper.

Accountability at the top.
As a business owner, as the boss, to whom are you accountable? Everyone? Harry Truman isn’t the only one who said “The buck stops here.” Every agency owner we’ve ever worked with echoes the same sentiment. “It’s my business. I’m ultimately accountable.” And, actually, the list of constituents is pretty long. Your customers, your employees, your carriers, your vendors, your community.

While it may go without saying that the buck stops at the top, what does that really mean?

Does it mean that you must make every

How do you effectively get your staff to own their own job?

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“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. ”
        ~ Ronald Reagan

decision every time? Must you solve every problem personally? Just because you can do something, does that mean you should do it?

Donald Rumsfeld is quoted as saying, “You will launch many projects, but have time to finish only a few. So think, plan, develop, launch and tap good people to be responsible. Give them authority and hold them accountable. Trying to do too much yourself creates a bottleneck.”
If you fail to follow Rumsfeld’s advice, your business can only be as big as you can grow it. It can only be as strong as you, personally, can keep it. If you are the only one who has any accountability, then every customer, every employee, every vendor, every decision, every problem, may eventually end up in your lap. Accountability, throughout the organization, is a requirement for a strong, growing business just as it is a requirement for a healthy economy or a responsive government.
Accountability is about getting everyone – everyone – in the organization to own their own job.

Own Your Own Job.
What would it mean to your business if every one of your employees owns their own job? It could mean that you outperform your competition by 30%–40% –or more. It could mean that your customer retention (customers not revenue) is 98%. It could mean that you get to spend 100% more of your time building your business instead of doing the jobs that you already pay others to do.
Why is ownership—accountability—so important? Think about this. If you own you own job…

If you own it, you take the responsibility to do it well.
If you own it, you improve it.
If you own it, you take pride in it.
If you own it, it gives back to you what you put into it so,
If you own it, you take satisfaction from it.

So, in your business, if everyone owns their own job:

  • Morale is higher
  • Quality is higher
    • Customers are better served
      • Retention is higher
      • Referrals are better
  • Productivity is higher
    • Expenses are lower
      • Profit is higher

Everyone wins – you, your employees, your customers - when everyone in your organization, owns their own job. For a thriving business, accountability is a strategic imperative.

That’s the case for why you need it.
How do you get it? How do you ensure that everyone owns their own job?

Accountability is about setting standards, creating the environment where they can be met and then insisting that they are met. Accountability requires measuring results and recognizing those who achieve them, and those who don’t. If you want everyone in the organization to own their own job, you also have to own your own job (and only your own job). That means you’ll be doing – and redoing these things.

  1. Communicating vision
  2. Identifying customer needs
  3. Setting expectations
  4. Delegating responsibility and authority
  5. Measuring results
  6. Recognizing performance
  7. Ensuring continuous improvement

It’s simple, but not always easy. Sometimes it means making difficult changes. Sometimes it means allowing someone to fail. Sometimes it means knowing what needs to be done but being uncomfortable doing it. Sometimes you need help.

In your organization do you—does the “boss”—own all the jobs? Or do some jobs go begging? If you would like help to build an environment where everyone in your organization can own their own job—be accountable for their own results—call or email Visit our website

For a business that thrives in the New Year, consider the strategic imperative. First, last and always, a strategic view to keep you focused on the important things and help you deal effectively with the urgent things. Then, accountability, competitive advantage, organizational excellence and a commitment to continuous improvement. With these you build business value as well as profit, and thrive. You keep the alligators from breeding and you sleep better at night.

If you need help with any or all of the strategic imperatives, let’s have a conversation. Call or email Visit our website

In future articles we’ll talk about some of the general and specific issues that keep you up at night. In the meantime, visit our blogs and join the conversation. Tell us what’s keeping you up at night.
Strategic Management for Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers:
Build Accountability Into Your Business:

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