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Do you play your guitar at work?

In 1988, business was so slow that I would go to my office at the back of our store, close the door, take my guitar out, put my feet up on the desk and start strumming.

While it was soothing for the soul, it wasn’t very productive.

After a couple months of this, I started to get bored singing to myself.

I decided that if the business was going to be successful, it was up to me and I was going to have to get to work. I set some goals and went out to achieve them – but it was difficult. I really had no one to keep me accountable.

Its 2019 now and, if you’re like me, you probably have some goals that you want to achieve. The problem for business leaders like you and I is that there’s a 93 per cent failure rate (according to a Workplace accountability study of 40,000 business leaders) in aligning our goals and being accountable for those intended results that we set out for ourselves.

As you already know from experience, our new year’s resolutions for a better business often fall by the wayside because we get sidetracked. We go off chasing rabbits and the Chinese proverb says, “The hunter who chases two rabbits catches neither one.”

This year if you want to get more done, achieve better results, become more successful, be more profitable or have better work/life balance, there’s one thing you can do that will make all the difference: find someone to keep you accountable.

In fact, the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65 per cent chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95 per cent. Wouldn’t you like to achieve 95 per cent of the goals you set out for yourself? (Email me if you want to hear about my formula to keep you on track.)

And it’s not just you as a leader who needs help. The Workplace study revealed that 91 per cent of people rank accountability as one of the top development needs that they’d like to see in their business. This means your staff wants to be held accountable as well.

I often hear business owners complain that their staff doesn’t do what’s required of them. They have employees who are hard to manage and if they want something done right, the employers have to do it themselves.

When I ask who’s responsible for this failure, only occasionally do they tell me that they, as leaders, are responsible. But the reality is that if our business isn’t running the way we want it to and if our staff don’t do their jobs the way we believe they should, then we’re the problem. We’re failing to keep them accountable. The Workplace study reveals that 91 per cent of employees have come to the conclusion that more accountability is needed in their companies.

I was able to grow my business into a multimillion-dollar operation with dozens of employees because I found a way to keep myself accountable. We had processes in place that ensured our employees were accountable and I reported quarterly to my partners.

This left less time to play the guitar but more money to pay employees to do my work, expand the business and enjoy life in other ways.

Are you ready to be accountable in 2019?

David Fuller, MBA, is a certified professional business coach and author who helps business leaders ensure that their companies are successful. David is author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Email

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