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FLEXO Magazine : January 2013
we have committed to doing all we can to achieve those goals. Yet do we really? In the ideal world, there should be no need for managers to hold employees accountable because individuals hold themselves accountable. However, in reality, very few of us operate that way. The fact is, most of us get distracted or diverted from mov- ing efficiently toward our goals. While a press operator may finish the job, we must ask, "Was it accomplished in the most efficient and productive way?" and "Were speeds optimized? Were print defects and mid-run press stops avoided? Was quality maintained through the entire run? Was downtime between jobs kept to a minimum?" Similar questions apply to those of us in sales or adminis- trative positions. "Were we able to stay on task for the entire day? Did we connect with a sufficient number of customers and prospects during the day? Did we take care of all of our follow-ups? Are we prepared for our next trip? Ultimately, are we meeting our goals? Or are we falling behind?" IT'S OBVIOUS, ISN'T IT? Why is it, year after year, so few of us accomplish our New Year's resolutions and why are so many companies struggling with the same issues? I believe, more than anything else, this achievement failure is a result of a lack of accountability. Assuming clear goals are set, we must know how we will achieve them. Whether it's loosing weight or reducing print defects, we must know the cause of the problem; determine how to correct the problem and then take action. The action step is the hardest part of the equation and often goes to pav- ing the pathway with good intentions. So, what is the real secret to personal success in meet- ing goals? It's a matter of not trying to go it alone. Success- ful companies operate as a team, whereby individuals are assigned tasks aimed at achieving agreed upon goals. The team holds the individual accountable for incrementally reporting accomplishments that ultimately; when done, add together to reach the goal. The team assures the action steps are acted upon. This applies to our personal lives as well. People join an exercise or diet group so they can benefit from peer pressure. The group encourages the individual to make the changes needed to achieve the desired result. Together they set goals, report milestones and support one another... toward achiev- ing what they set out to do. Few people can successfully hold themselves accountable. We all seem to be most successful when we communicate our individual goals and our action plan to someone else or an accountability team who will hold us accountable. Another year older but are we any wiser? Maybe that's for the group to decide! About the Author: Paul Sharkey is the presi- dent of FLXON Inc. He has worked in the flexographic printing market for more than 35 years. www.flexography.org JANUARY 2013 FLEXO 55