John Bly is a CPA, a successful entrepreneur, and a mergers and acquisitions czar. He’s grown his practice over the past 8 or 9 years and in that time he’s completed 8 acquisitions and 2 mergers.
At the heart of his business, John has created a culture of over-achievement that relies on accountability. John likes accountability, but he’s found that people tend to treat it like it’s a dirty word.
In his Paper Napkin Wisdom John says: “Accountability [is] not a 4 letter word, stop treating it like one!”
John believes that accountability drives metrics and performance. Being accountable to someone, he says, keeps you from getting lackadaisical instead of trying to push yourself to the next level. When you’re able to hold people accountable, it makes for a smoother organization, it helps ensure that people follow through on what they say they’re going to do and leads to an environment of respect. To successfully introduce accountability into a team, John says you need to have transparency. Make it as clear as possible to your team that accountability is not about you being the big bad boss, it’s about driving growth.
Accountability is not a stick to beat people with; it’s a really high bar to reach up to and a core value to operate from. When you have a transparent and accountable culture, people know how they’re performing, they get to be part of a team that generates growth, they have opportunities to improve, and that’s something people really enjoy. When people are able to understand how well they’re performing, it makes them feel like their efforts are noticed and gives them the confidence to push further.
“Accountability is not a stick to beat people with; it’s a really high bar to reach up to.”
John believes that it is the culture of accountability that has elevated his company to one of the top places to work in the United States. He implements a360 degree method of accountability and keeps a structure in place to maintain it. Every Monday the firm has an 8 minute huddle, later that day there are 15 minute department meetings. Twice a month he has Partner meetings. Every July, each employee sets goals to align themselves with the organization’s goals as a whole and every quarter they talk to their coach and try to figure out how to accomplish those goals. This structure creates a regular cadence so that accountability is more than just a throw-away term, it’s a practiced value.
John’s emphasis on accountability has helped him go through 8 acquisitions, 2 mergers, and made his company into one of the best places to work in his country. Those are some amazing results. What’s the accountability like in your team? Is it a part of your culture? Are you keeping accountability as an everyday value your company is living or have you been treating it like a four letter word?
Listen to my conversation with John here: