Last week I posted the following on my Facebook Business Page:
“I’m starting a new series called An Alphabet of Business Questions and Tips starting with A. What business question starting with the letter ‘A’ do you have?”
I was fortunate to receive 7 responses (and 7’s such an auspicious number!) And although they might not have been in the form of a question (you would have been buzzed if this had been the TV game show Jeopardy:), the words and phrases posed were spot on.
Bill Dorman started things off with the word accountability. I wanted to be sure that I read him right, so I looked up the definition of accountability: the state of being accountable (duh), liable or answerable. So I figured I better look up accountable. Definition: answerable, responsible, explainable (I didn’t even know explainable was a word!)
So if Bill was indicating (as I believe he was) that accountability is key in business, I would ask:
Accountable to what? Accountable to whom?
My take on this is that we often give tons of responsibility to people, without commensurate accountability. We give them jobs to do, tasks to perform that are their responsibility, but without accountability, it’s always “someone else’s fault” when the job doesn’t get done. Or we get the “that’s not my job” when we want them to be answerable for their actions.
What do you think accountability means in business? Does it mean instilling a sense of ownership in the person doing the job? Is it making people aware that the buck stops with them? What are your thoughts on this?
John Falchetto, my friend, Expat Life Coach and fellow Canadian living in the South of France provided the word “accounting“. And he said, although many “hate it”, it matters. I agree completely! Staying on top of your financials and accounting is paramount to success. And it isn’t about projections: it’s about cash flow.
Cash flow is King or Queen, as the case may be. You can do all the projections in the world, but it’s cash flow analysis that will keep you in business. Businesses who do not keep a finger on the pulse of their cash flow should be aware that the door will hit them in the butt as the “going out of business” sign goes up in the window. Check out this great article, “Basics of Accounting are Vital to Survival for Entrepreneurs” to see how a company can be profitable, but fail because it cannot pay the bills.
Ameena Falchetto, eternal expat and all-round awesome entrepreneur, wife and mom, gave me the word ‘aspirations‘. The word ‘aspirations’ conjured up synonyms like goals, desires, aims and ambitions. It also means breath. How poetic and perfect in business: breathing life into goals, dreams and ambitions.
What goals and dreams will you breathe life into today?
Sandra Bilbray, awesome writer and kick-ass runner, provided the phrase ‘attitude and its impact on success‘. And since Sandra was the former Columns Editor for Success Magazine, I thought it only appropriate to direct you to this article, “Why your Attitude is Everything”. And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention “attitude is everything” WHEN you decide2do something with that attitude. It’s all about action!
Sharon Denman, friend and mom of Kyle Miller, one of my favourite Lacrosse players that I had the pleasure of being athletic trainer for, posed a pointed question: ‘Altruism in big business. An oxymoron?‘ I looked up the definition of altruism, because I wanted to be sure I was accurate. Definition: “the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others (opposed to egoism)” Hmmmmmm…I think I’m going to leave that one to you, my readers, to bandy about.
But before I leave the concept of altruism, I want to make mention of a truly altruistic business. My friend Al is the founder of The CARE Movement, and he’s issued a challenge that demonstrates how passionately he practices the art of altruism. Check it out and take the challenge. And let me know what you think of Sharon’s question while you’re at it.
I’m ending this post with the wise words of my friend Janice Morton, friend and mom of two other “fave” laxxers (lacrosse players) who said: “AWESOME – to feel it and be told it“
To all who submitted their “letter A” thoughts: you are AWESOME.
To all who read this: you are AWESOME.
To all who choose to comment or pass this along: you are AWESOME.
And it would be AWESOME if you’d let me know what you think about accountability, accounting, aspirations, attitude, action and altruism as they relate to success in business and in life.