The Secret to Accountability

The Secret to Accountability

In my work as a consultant to hundreds of landscape pros over the years, I have listened to the issue of accountability come up again and again. How, other business owners ask me, can they hold their teams to the tasks they’re assigned and the results they need to deliver? How should they address underperformance? How do they motivate their people to care as much about the business as they do?

As the owner of a landscaping company, I have faced these same challenges too. And while there’s no simple fix, I can tell you that accountability actually starts with the owner—not your team. As one of my oldest and dearest friends likes to remind me:

Forget Those New Year’s Resolutions

Tomorrow is January 1 and with it comes all the usual talk of New Year’s resolutions.

We promise ourselves we’ll eat better and work out more. We tell ourselves this is the year we’ll improve our companies’ efficiency. We resolve to create better systems and this time stick religiously to them.

But the problem is these are all large objectives with no specific steps, and without incremental steps most of us will find it hard to achieve any lasting change. In fact studies show only about 10% of us succeed in fulfilling our New Year’s resolutions.


So rather than draw up an overwhelmingly ambitious list of resolutions in the new year, look for small, specific steps you can take to improve. You’ll find that the tactics that really work will often seamlessly become part of the way you operate, while the ones that don’t will be forgotten about.

One tactic we’re working to adopt companywide at Grunder Landscaping in 2018 is holding regular one-on-one meetings between managers and team members. I spent some time talking about why with the whip-smart team at Aileron, a Dayton-area nonprofit with a national reputation for helping business leaders succeed. We shared our insights with Forbes, and you can read the article here.