Sales Leadership – The Talent of Personal Accountability or Wake Up!

Top sales performers live and die this sales leadership talent of personal accountability.  These individuals are at work before anyone else and usually are working after everyone else. Each day is a new challenge, a fresh opportunity to meet new friends they did not know, build new relationships and be available for when that potential customer’s value is matched by the value their solutions bring to the table.

Personal accountability is a sales leadership talent for everyone because everyone is in sales.  Only for sales people who on a commission pay schedule, they probably understand this talent more than most as their income directly relies on the consistent application of being personally accountable.

I was reminded of this sales leadership talent when I received a message from a client who had sent a personal message to his sales teams both virtual and non-virtual.  His message was:


Given he is a fairly empathetic individual, he was becoming frustrated with people not showing up for work on time, not doing what they needed to do.  In other words, he was directly speaking to this talent of personal accountability.

What does personal accountability mean?  According to Innermetrix, this sales leadership talent is defined as:

 “The ability to be responsible for the consequences of one’s own decisions and actions; taking responsibility for these decisions, and not shifting focus on blame or poor performance somewhere else, or on others.  This derives from an internal responsibility to one’s self to be accountable and this internal willingness to own up will tend to be exhibited outside in one’s actions.”

In other words these folks know how to:


Individuals who score above 6 which is considered good “will not try to make excuses for a bad decision and will normally make every effort to try and identify the cause of that bad decision.  Their focus will be more on correcting the problem to ensure future success than on protecting themselves.”

For those individuals who are weak respective to this sales leadership talent they may be more “concerned with appearance and image, than with results and success.  They will seek to place blame for a bad decision on any factor which does not lie solely with them, for doing so would detract from their abilities in the public image.  Although achieving goals and success can be important to this person, their self-image is often fragile and protecting it is much more important.”

In the words of my client, these folks are asleep and they need to:


Additionally, the talent of personal accountability is viewed by some as a power talent one that propels individuals forward more quickly. This strength can energize the other talents into action.

In having administered hundreds of  Attribute Index assessments, I have discovered this talent of personal accountability to be in the top 50% of the 78 identified attributes for those who are in the role of sales.  As top sales performers all bring different talents to the table based upon their experiences, to expect this one talent to be number one is unrealistic. However by that same rationale, it should be not in the lower one third.

As in any talent, personal accountability can be improved. One way is to consistently apply the talent of realistic personal goal setting. Another is to look to one’s self starting ability.

If your personal goal is to increase sales or this is one of the goals for your business or sales team, then maybe it just may make sense to assess your team respective to this talent. Sales Training Coaching Tip:  The Attribute Index is a great tool and one of the most reliable ones in the marketplace.

Or you just may be like my client who is asking his sales team members to just:


P.S. As noted, each Tuesday, one of the 78 attributes or talents will be discussed.

Share on Facebook

4 Responses to “Sales Leadership – The Talent of Personal Accountability or Wake Up!”

  • Increase the Sales is the main goal for every Sales Leader. But acquiring good results with optimize the team members is the challenge for Sales Leader and that’s the Leadership. Personal Accountability coming to the action when Leader is going to take a challenge with his team.

  • Robert – Yes the goal to increase sales is the responsibility for all. There is a great discussion going over at about who is “ultimately” responsible. My 2 cents was the CEO or small business owner, the guy or gal at the top. Not everyone shared that same belief.

    Do you believe sales people understand this skill or talent of personal accountability? Or better yet, if they do, what is keeping them from exercising it?

    Look forward to your future observations,

    Leanne Hoagland-Smith

  • Nice information. it would be useful for our sales people. Thanks for sharing

  • Rylee, thanks for sharing your feedback.

    Leanne Hoagland-Smith

RSS Subscribe!
Coaching Tip

People buy results or rather people buy the feelings the results deliver.

What’s Happening?

Internal Results interviews
Leanne Hoagland-Smith
. Some of her answers may surprise you.

Check out this podcast on value creation between David Brock and Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Listen to Leanne Hoagland-Smith at Sales Scenario podcasts

Another list of top sales bloggers

Pre-order this great book How to Get a Meeting with Anyone. You may recognize a familiar name.

Top 100 Most Innovative Sales Bloggers Honored this blog is included in this impressive list.

Best Sales Blogger Award for 2014 Third place awarded to Leanne Hoagland-Smith.

NWI SBDC awarded Small Business Journalist of 2014 to Leanne Hoagland-Smith. Awards.

Expand Your Business Horizons
Sign up to receive monthly newsletter devoted to small businesses and busy sales professionals Beyond the Black
Be the Red Jacket
Seeking an easy and practical book on marketing, selling and sales? Read the reviews at Amazon and then order your hard copy or eBook.
Sustainability Expert
The Institute for Sustainability
Ezine Expert
Blogroll – Leadership, OD
Contact Coach Lee

Leanne Hoagland-Smith
219.759.5601 Main Office CDT
219.508.2859 Mobile CDT

Office located near Chicago, IL Main Website

Sales Corner

Tracking by The Sales Corner
Blog Rankings
Business Blogs - Blog Rankings
Blog Top Sites
RSS Search
Blog Log