Partner Accountability: Seven Signs Your Firm May Be in Trouble

Do you have the courage to change the firm’s culture?

by August Aquila

Accountability, according to the Merriam-Webster on line dictionary, is “the obligation or responsibility to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” Let’s explore what this definition means.

First, there is an obligation. An obligation is a promise to do something. If a company has a financial obligation and fails to meet it, it may go into bankruptcy. If individuals fail to meet their obligations they also fall into a state of bankruptcy – i.e., failure.

Second, it is a personal responsibility. Each individual needs to account for his or her own success or failure.

Impact of lack of accountability

There is a real financial impact to the firm because of a lack of accountability.

1. Partners have low trust and are very reluctant to share clients with other partners.
2. Decisions take a long time or perhaps don’t get made at all.
3. Partners operate like sole practitioners rather than members of a team.

There is also a trust impact where there is low accountability. When partners don’t have accountability . . .

4. They have a difficult time setting and achieving goals.
5. They don’t want to have written goals.
6. Partners do not improve their skill sets.
7. They often fail to get the results they say they are going to get.

If you see these things in your firm, you are lacking a culture of accountability.


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August Aquila is CEO of AQUILA Global Advisors, LLC.