Accountability in Business, Teams – and in the Bible!

Apr 14, 2014, Written by Sue Miley

Business really doesn’t go all that well without accountability.  It doesn’t go well for the person who needs to be held accountable, or for the leader or customer who needs the results.

There is a common misconception with Christians in business that if we are applying our faith to our business then we are supposed to just be nice.  Sometimes holding others accountable doesn’t feel all that nice.

But accountability is a Biblical principle.

What Does The Bible Really Say About Accountability?

In James 5:12 He says “let your yes be yes and your no be no.”  When we make rules but don’t hold anyone accountable, when we pay for performance but don’t follow-up on results, soon our rules mean nothing and our expectations are no longer their goal.

God explained to Adam and Eve the simple yet most IMPORTANT rule.  Just don’t eat off the tree of good and evil.  I guess Adam and Eve didn’t think about the accountability part, but much to mankind’s dismay, God was a man of His word.  He held true to His rule and we are all living the results of that accountability.

Again, don’t forget the grace and mercy part.

Thankfully, He also brought us Jesus to redeem us from our sins and reunite us with the Father.  God knows that we need a Savior.  In our homes, our children need parents and in our business our teams need a leader.

Three Examples of Accountability in the Bible

How are you doing with the accountability part?

I know we feel that as Christians we are supposed to be kind and forgiving.  And yes if someone is truly repentant, we should also forgive just as God forgives us.  However, I still see many examples of individuals in the Bible having to live out the consequences of their sin, although they are forgiven.  As a refresher:

  • Moses never made it to the promised land.
  • David had quite a challenging life after some of his iniquities.
  • King Asa didn’t trust God who had protected him all along and made treaties with neighboring Kings.  Unfortunately, he had to stand alone with his treaties and things didn’t go well.

In contrast, Abraham obeyed, even offering up his son Isaac, and God blessed Him to be the father of nations.

Strengthen Your Business with Accountability

I know it is difficult sometimes as a leader to feel like we are always “the bad guy.” But, remember, holding people accountable to their commitments, to job performance, and to following the rules and policies, will actually STRENGTHEN the team.

People will know what is expected and thrive with the structure and support.  They will know that the other people on the team are accountable to the same game plan and this will enhance collaboration and team work.

Do you feel bad holding your staff accountable for the expectations and rules of their jobs?  What is the source of your guilt?  What keeps you from establishing this firm foundation?

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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