Seven Critical Marketing Skills: #7 Desire for Accountability

Abstract 
Sycamore and Company has identified the Seven Critical Skills which separate successful marketing executives from the rest of the pack. This post focuses on the final critical skill: #7 - The Desire for Accountability

About Our Seven Critical Marketing Skills Series

#7  Desire For Accountability

Taking responsibility for your actions is one of the defining attributes of an executive and a leader.  But more than taking responsibility, we talked to our executives about those people who proactively want to be held accountable for their ideas and their actions.  They take control of situations even before being asked.

"Number one, desire for accountability.  If you don’t have it, don’t want it then you better not be an executive.  You better be down a level or two.”

"I do think that people need to ultimately be responsible from a financial perspective, for what their ideas and vision are.” 

“For somebody to stand up and say, look, I’ll take on this responsibility and I’ll take ownership of the results and of delivering results, I think that’s the first step in order to create great marketing...So I’m always looking for people who can deliver results and the first way to deliver results it to be accountable. I love that.” 

"...it's those kinds of people who really thirst for accountability and will accept accountability that are the ones that I find work together as a group." 

One of our executives added an interesting perspective on the question of accountability.  Specifically, he advised shared accountability as a means of ensuring the support of one's management.

“...I think that the smart marketing executive, the one up front, the one who is going to succeed in the future is the one who gets involved at the earliest stage in the business sense and takes accountability, makes sure that the accountability is properly shared with the appropriate executives...you should share the accountability along with the business strategy planners and approvers and the people who execute it at the operational level...I think you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble later on if you get everybody part of the game up front.” 

In the end though, this isn't a learned skill, this is about what's inside of you.  Desire for accountability is more about a character trait.  It isn’t something that can be trained. But, it can be killed or it can be developed and nurtured.

You have to decide if you are ready to grab hold of new responsibilities.  Are you ready to stretch?  Are you ready to risk failing.  The best way to get your management to feel comfortable about giving you more responsibility is if you take it.  But remember, if you ask for it, you have to deliver.  That doesn't mean you can't fail, but it does mean you have to provide maximum effort.  And success would be good too.