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Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Will you be able to achieve your goals in the new year?  It is still not too late to do so – or to add one more.  That is to be “accountable.” To kick off the New Year, I wanted to write something less about business and more about personal development. Some people have said that the best thing about 2009 is that it is finally over.  Others celebrated the year as they found ways to prosper despite the recession.  What’s the difference between these two mindsets? According to my friend Sam Silverstein, author of the recently released book, No More Excuses, it is accountability. There are consequences, good and/or bad, for everything we do and the way we think.  I thought a great way to help you achieve your goals in the New Year would be to share Sam’s five areas of accountability which can turn potentially negative consequences into your competitive advantage.

Sam’s Five Areas of Accountability

Right things: Be accountable for doing the right things consistently.  Simply put, know what activities will help you achieve your strategic intent and focus daily on those endeavors. New space: Be accountable for managing your space for new opportunities.  Look for opportunities and alternatives that take you out of your comfort zone.  Yes, this is a risk, but the return can be very high. Process: Be accountable for managing the process when you hit an obstacle.  It is inevitable that you will encounter adversities and setbacks when you pursue your goals.  So, how will you deal with them?  You must accept them, own them and deal with them – because they are yours. Expectations: Be accountable for establishing the right personal expectations, also known as goals.  Setting expectations/goals too low means you will underachieve.  Setting them too high can lead to frustration, which could cause you to make bad choices.  Take time to think them through. The targets you set for yourself will have a huge impact on your actual achievement. Relationships: Be accountable for your relationships.  Contribute to them.  When we give help to others, many times, personal gain naturally follows.  I’m reminded of what Zig Ziglar used to say. “If you help enough others get what they want, you will get what you want.”  Some call this the Law of Reciprocity. My take on accountability is that we don’t blame others for what happens to us.  We own our experiences and have control over how we feel and deal with them.  It’s not about what happens to you.  It is how you respond or react to it.  You own it.  It’s yours.  No excuses – which is why Sam Silverstein’s new book is titled, No More Excuses. Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at Connect with Shep on LinkedIn. (Copyright ©MMXI, Shep Hyken)

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