Six Key Principles of Corporate Accountability

The foundation of any business transaction is the promise of fair deal. In complex organizational relationships, it is all too easy to lose sight of the existence and terms of this deal. On the surface, that employer/employee relationship, called a job, is a fair deal wherein the employer’s money is traded for the employee’s time and talent. The deeper reality, however, is that the employer is actually trading resources for a set of desirable results, which the employee is expected to deliver. The promise to faithfully deliver as agreed by both parties is the essence of accountability.

We recommend that organizations give voice to their accountability through a document called an Accountability Agreement. An Accountability Agreement clearly states the results that each member of an organization, from the most senior to the most junior, is expected to bring about [For specific examples of Accountability Agreements, please see our online tool at]. The following six principles form the foundation for negotiating and understanding accountability. Together they form a practical theory of accountability, the transforming effect it can have on an organization, and its essential role in creating significant business results.

I. Accountability is a Statement of Personal Promise

Accountability is both a promise and an obligation to deliver specific, defined results. Accountability, as we define it, does not apply in an abstract way to departments, work groups, or entire organizations. Accountability applies to individuals and their personal promise that these functions will deliver the agreed results. Accountability is first and foremost a personal commitment to the organization and to those the organization serves. It is more than just trying, doing your best, or behaving in certain ways. Accountability empowers individuals to push their circle of influence outwards in pursuit of results.

II. Accountability for Results Means Activities Aren’t Enough

Everyone in an organization, from the CEO to the janitor, has some piece of the business and a corresponding set of results which are theirs to achieve. Distinguishing results from activities requires a shift in traditional thinking built on an awareness of why we do what we do. For example, a typical supervisor’s job description includes activities such as “training,” “performance evaluations,” and “timely communication”. In contrast, a supervisor’s accountabilities should include a result such as “the success of all direct reports.” This concept addresses the common observation that everyone is busy but only some people are productive.

III. Accountability for Results Requires Room for Judgment and Decision Making

If you’re not allowed to use any judgment or discretion on the job, if you’re told to follow the rules no matter what, if no decision is up to you, then your boss can only hold you accountable for activities. You can be held accountable for doing what you’re told, but you can’t be held accountable for the outcome. Judgment and innovation can never be fully described in a job description. When employees are expected to be resourceful in the achievement of results, they are held accountable for capturing opportunities or ignoring them.

IV. Accountability is Neither Shared nor Conditional

Accountability Agreements are individual, unique, and personal strategies. No two people at the same level in an organization should have the exact same accountabilities. Separating each person’s accountabilities can be challenging, but valuable clarity results from the struggle to eliminate overlaps.

V. Accountability for the Organization as a Whole Belongs to Everyone

Every employee’s first accountability is for thinking about and acting on what is best for the organization, even if doing so means putting aside one’s individual, functional, or departmental priority. The most successful organizations expect and allow every person to be of practical assistance in realizing the organization’s goals.

VI. Accountability is Meaningless Without Consequences

In Accountability Agreements, consequences need to be negotiated. Negotiated consequences that are personally significant to the employee in question are an essential element of Accountability Agreements and are fundamental to forging a fair deal. This is a key step in forging an interdependent and mutually beneficial relationship with one’s employer.

Organizational accountability entirely subverts the tendency to make excuses and shift blame. When employees make clear and specific commitments for their own work, entire organizations become aligned and achieve specific measurable results.

Network Marketing – What’s the Secret?

If you’re like me, you see almost daily headlines that promise to tell you the secret to network marketing. When you open up the article, the ad or the magazine, you read and find out that this person is either charging you money to divulge their secret or they never really reveal their secret.

I get emails quite regularly asking for my help. People have poured their life stories out to me, in the hopes I’ll share the secret of network marketing with them.

I have great news and then not such great news. The great news is the secret to network marketing is relationships. We’ve all been involved in relationships since the day we were born. The not great news is that many people are not certain how to build relationships.

In business, whether network marketing or traditional business, the key is relationships. Look at a top realtor in your town. What makes this person unique? I’ll bet they know a lot of people. I’ll bet they are a person that has helped many people in the community. I’ll bet you’ll find this person at many social events, many fundraising events and involved in a few non profit groups.

Now look at some of the network marketers you’ve met who are top in the field. What makes them unique? They know a lot of people. They help others whenever possible. You’ll find them involved in many different events both not for profit and possibly even for profit ventures.

The top network marketers know how to attract people and how to build friendships. They value relationships.

You won’t find the top network marketers running around spamming ads. You won’t find them posting their ads on every social network out there. You also won’t find them at social events just waiting to jump into a conversation to verbally assault others with their ad.

Their secret is they truly like people, care about people and value the relationships they have with others.

Since each of us is different we each have the opportunity to connect with a different group of people. I never feel like I’m “competing” with someone else as I know a different group of people than other network marketers.

Social Media Marketing – 5 Ways to Be the Best Option For Your Customers


This article will provide you the social media tools needed to get your customers to prefer your product to your competitors’ product. During the late stages of the purchase cycle, your customers still need to be convinced that you and your solution is superior.Internet marketing is all about getting sales. Getting internet sales would be easy if you were the only one selling your type of product. We naturally think that our products are so unique that no one else can compete. Think again! So the question is, what social media marketing tools can I use to get customers to prefer my product? First, a definition of social media marketing. Social media marketing is the 2 way conversations that are now the leading manner in which many of your customers are using to decide which product to purchase. It is about using Web 2.0 technology, to converse with customers (as well as amongst themselves), to help them make the best choice – your product.

It is assumed that you have gotten your website visitors to the point where they are very aware of your product, know it well and familiar with you. You are now considered in the late stages of buying. Preference is the achievement of having placed your product first in the minds of your customers. When you have positioned yourself as the dead leader amongst your competitors, you have preference on your side. This may seem obvious to you. But it takes three things to have achieved that:

1) led the conversation (with customers) with the critical decision factors upon which your customers make a decision 2) had convinced them one by one that you understand the general solution to those critical decision factors and 3) demonstrated that your product represents the best solution to their needs.

Here are the best options available to you on using Web 2.0 assets, in using social media marketing to get your customers to prefer your product:

1. Blog/Website

First off, in order to sell your product directly using internet marketing, I assume that you have a website or blog. If you do not have one, you need to get one made. These days a blog or website is very easy to create. If you are a dead beginner, the one I recommend that you use is Word Press Direct. Word Press Direct allows you to create a blog on which you can create ads and ad other widgets. Furthermore, it is so simple, that you can have your site up in a day (or less) using their tools for free. They allow three free websites, and they will even host it for you.

On your website or blog, you will have a sales page. Some people call it a money page. It is where you will funnel customer traffic to your website. It will also be the page from where they click to actually complete their purchase. The money page is usually the page with a button on it that says “Buy Now,” or have a click-able link. Your page will have friendly and knowledgeable ad copy that will address the decision factors that will capture their attention. It is essential that you have researched and know the issues or problems that your customers have. The ad copy also provides the general answers to the solution and the specific features of your product that deliver this solution. So you must provide a very clear path from your customers’ problems to benefits that makes sense to your customer.

As part of that, here are some specific things you can use:

Comparison Tables – use a table that shows the benefits to the customer and compares you to the next leading competitive solution. Make sure that the benefits are solutions to their critical issues. You do not need to name your competitor, and I advise you not to unless your competitor is very entrenched (meaning they are already kicking ass in your market) and you know that they are currently favored. Use check marks in the columns, rather than text.

2. Competitors’ Sites

If you are not on the first search page in a Google Search for your main keyword phrase, then you need to take a close look at the competitors that are listed on the first page. Sign up as a member on your competitors’ sites to get their freebies (newsletter, white papers, downloads). Read their newsletters and know what they are saying to their customers. You need to know what your competitors are saying or promising to their customers. See if your competitors have a blog where you can post quality content or comments. There is nothing wrong with well-intentioned posting of answers or comments posted on their pages. Pay particular attention to critical pain points through visitors’ posts, and comment on those. Your signature line can have a link back to your website/blog. This is also a good way to establish a relationship with your competitors and customers. Be friendly, it is more fun.

Also you may have heard of a web technique called trackbacks. This is a net technology that establishes a link from a competitors’ blog back to yours, when you post on your blog! Investigate whether trackbacks are allowed and if they are, you absolutely want to utilize this. Post a link to their page on your website and take advantage of the traffic that will be generated from them to you.

3. Discussions/Forums

Make sure that you are in on the conversation at social media sites where your competitors are already talking. When you do a Google (or Yahoo or You Tube) search on your niche add either of the words (“discussion”, “forum”, or “video” or “blog”) such as “turtle collecting discussion,” or “turtle collecting forum.” This will bring up some listings for you to comb through to see where your competitors and customers are already talking. You need to be in on that conversation and become known. Feel free to post high quality comments. There are also groups on Face Book, Linked, My Space.

Again at this stage of the purchase cycle you need to make sure that you are posting on issues that relate to critical issues that your customers are facing. In the case of turtle collecting, maybe it is a lack of availability of a certain species of turtle or inhumane treatment of turtles by others in the industry. Talk about these issues and be an opinion leader. Remember to use an attention getting signature line and link to your site. Sometimes the high ranking competitors will disallow your posts. In that case, comment on posts of the second tier of competitors.

4. Inbound Marketing

Use the information that you get from your customers in changing your messages and content. Inbound marketing is about listening to your customers (and competitors) and improving your product and message. Internet marketing is unique, in that it allows you to be in business from scratch, in a day. I have already done this already several times. In so doing, you can be sure that after one day, you will have much to learn right out of the box. What used to be “ready, aim, fire” is now “ready, fire, aim.” A good marketer is adjusting all of the time. Being competitive is about being flexible.

5. Measuring Preference

The reality is that there are others competing into the same market niche as you. The goal now is a matter of ensuring that your customers prefer your solution to others. Again, this appears to be a very simple-minded statement. But in open discussions and conversations, your job is to determine what is the tone or attitude of the group. Do their questions seem to satisfy their concerns or does it take a real lot of convincing? If you need to do real time person-to-person, post-upon-post hard selling on your customers, this will continue to be a big job and will take your valuable personal time every day. Ad copy should be smooth and address the issues in advance.

In Summary

Follow the above concepts and you will find the tide changing in your direction. If you want to succeed in internet marketing, take action now to create change in your program. Taking action everyday on at least one of the above tips will vastly increase your business and the attractiveness of your solution. Don’t let another day go by. Make sure you know specifically who your competitors are, visit their pages, find out what they are saying, find out what they are selling, and sign up for their newsletters. This is how the winners learn their game. Now it’s your turn.

Network Marketing – Offline Marketing is Not Dead

I just read the opinion of one man today who said “offline marketing is dead.” I actually had to re-read that sentence several times as I could not believe what I was reading.

The internet is wonderful. I love the internet. But offline marketing is not dead.

Have you read a magazine lately? Have you watched television lately? Both mediums are loaded with advertising.

I get local business on a regular basis. I still very strongly suggest a marketing plan that includes both online and offline marketing.

Offline, there are so many ways to market both your products and your business opportunity:

1. Hand out catalogs. You can mail them to local customers. You can leave them in doctor’s waiting rooms, hair salons etc. You can carry them with you at all times and hand them out as asked.

2. You can use your car. Put a decal in the window. Put a magnet on both the right hand side and the left hand side. Put a license plate frame in both the back and the front.

3. Have a sign made for your front yard. During election time, people put signs on their front lawns all of the time. Have a sign made with your company name on it and put it on your front lawn.

4. If you have a front window that faces the street, put a decal on the window.

5. Place an ad in your local newspapers. If your town has both a daily paper and a weekly shopper, get ads in both of them.

6. Sponsor a local sports team. Buy them pizza a few times a year and pay for their shirts. Your name will be all over their promotional pieces.

7. Take out ads in the local high school programs. Most high schools have football programs, theater programs and band programs.

8. Rent tables at local boutiques and fairs. These events bring in a lot of people. Have some supplies and business cards and be ready to tell people about your business.

9. Host a home party. Millions of dollars in sales are created each and every year through home parties.

10. Donate items to local silent auctions. This is a wonderful way to get your name into the community. The group will use your name in all of their promotional pieces and the day of the event your name will be displayed alongside the item(s) you’ve donated.

These are just ten ideas of ways to market offline and locally. I do not for one minute believe that offline marketing is dead.