Accountability: Ensuring Success of Your Goals and Lead Measures

Author: Leader in Me
January 17, 2019


Accountability is critical to achieving goals and lead measures. It is the secret ingredient to ensuring one’s success with them. And it’s not even a secret. It’s simply a step many people forget about after they are done with the goal-setting process. But I’m here to tell you, without accountability, how does one know they are making progress? By taking control of this critical process in goal setting, you are not only ensuring gains toward a goal, but you’re also raising the bar of your own expectations.


Accountability, Goals, and Lead Measures


A student creates a goal of reading 12 books over the summer. So they come up with a plan, write down the plan, and start working toward their goal. The student starts off by reading 1 book a week but slowly starts falling behind the pace needed to complete this goal. At the beginning of the school year, the student managed to read 10 books over the summer, not 12.

What did the student do wrong?

The answer is who knows? Without accountability, there is no way to track the student’s progress over the summer. There is also no way to see any problems the student may have had that hindered them from achieving their goal.

In fact, in this common scenario, many people would agree that the student was on the way to achieving their goal—they made a plan, they wrote it down, and they read. But how does one know for sure that the student was on their way to achieving their goal?

The answer is accountability.

With accountability built in to the goal-setting process, one can ensure that one will successfully reach their goals or lead measures. Why? Because in this stage of the goal-setting process, we can reach out to another person to help us remain accountable. This person is called an “Accountability Partner” or an “Accountability Buddy.”



Accountability Partner/Buddy


This is a person holding you accountable for your goals or lead measures. One way for this person to help hold you accountable is through a cadence of accountability.

For example, an action plan might look like this:

Accountability Partners/Buddies, Teachers, and Parents


  • Hold weekly or biweekly meetings to review scoreboards and discuss progress made toward goals and lead measures.
  • Congratulate and cheer on progress.
  • Offer insightful information if progress slows or stops.


For the Person Working Towards a Goal or Lead Measure


  • Focus on a few critical goals.
  • Identify and carry out high-leverage activities to achieve those goals.
  • Use scoreboards to increase engagement and monitor progress.
  • Have people hold you accountable through regular check-ins.


Of course, this is only one piece of the puzzle. Sean Covey will be speaking in depth about this subject as well as the other puzzle pieces this year at TASA (Texas Association of School Administrators) Midwinter Conference. This conference has become the most popular conference of the year for Texas school leaders because it provides such a valuable opportunity to come together to discuss and share innovative practices, network with peers, address the administrative issues administrators face every day, and gain fresh insights. Mr. Covey is humbled to have the opportunity to speak at this conference and will be at Booth 239 on Monday, January 28, 2019, at 10 A.M. Feel free to come by, pick up a copy of The 4 Disciplines of Execution, and talk goal setting and lead measures with him.



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