Ken Lear, Detroit-based entrepreneur, shares three ways to improve your accountability.


Accountability is one of the key ingredients of successful leadership. It plays an essential role in communication and trust with employees and clients. Being accountable means being capable of managing yourself — something you must be able to do before effectively managing others. It means having self-discipline, integrity, and doing what you say you’re going to do. This is an immense challenge, even for the strongest of leaders, but the benefits are invaluable!

Here are 4 tips from Ken Lear to become a more accountable leader:

1. Look in the Mirror!  

Being accountable starts with self-awareness. Examine your day-to-day behaviors and be honest with yourself about how well you follow through. Do you overpromise and under deliver? Do you commit to being somewhere and then not show up? Do you have a habit of starting things and never finishing them? Can the people around you count on you to be reliable and consistent?

The ability to self-reflect is an awesome success-building tool. Do your best to determine where you might be dropping the ball so you know what to work on.

2. Ask For Feedback

It’s impossible to view ourselves objectively, so one of the best things you can do is ask others to suggest areas where you might be able improve. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • “How do you feel things are going so far? How can I be a better leader to you?”
  • “Was this what you were expecting and hoping for?”
  • “Is there something you’d like me to do differently?”

Most people will appreciate your desire to learn and improve and will gladly share their thoughts with you.

3. Own Your Mistakes

Always own up to your mistakes and recognize when you are wrong. This is part of having integrity.

If you are scrambling for excuses, blaming others, or flat-out denying that you messed up, people aren’t going to respect you as a leader. Deflecting blame does absolutely nothing positive for anyone in the long run. If you’re not owning up to your mistakes, you’re adding unnecessary steps to the problem-solving process while ultimately losing the trust of those around you.

4. Remain Humble

You can’t be an accountable leader without also being a humble person. Arrogant people tend to be the least accountable because they are always worried about their image. Put your pride aside and take the fall if you earned it. Never be afraid to apologize if you’re in the wrong.

Do you have any other tips for being a more accountable leader? Share them in the comments below!

For more from Ken Lear, connect on Twitter @Ken_Lear