The HOT Plan™: The Gifts of Accountability, Part II


The four gifts of Positive Accountability cost little but offer a wealth of opportunity.

The four gifts mentioned in part one of this series – the locus of responsibility; the matrix of support; the closure of a deadline; and the satisfaction of rewards – can transform a company culture from a work-for-hire mentality to an attitude of partnership.

The gifts of accountability separate the wishers from the doers in your organization.

As discussed in our last blog post, the first two gifts of accountability — the locus of responsibility and the matrix of support — get projects off to a great start. But it is the last two gifts of accountability that insure projects end well.

Accountability’s third and fourth gifts — deadlines and rewards — are the key to a strong finish.

  1. The gift of the deadline. Deadlines: Love ‘em or hate ‘em, but you can’t live without ‘em. Douglas Adams said it well: I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” For most of us, that whooshing sound is all too familiar. We have all been caught in the back wind of a missed deadline at one point or another so why bother with deadlines at all? The answer is simple; deadlines give us an endpoint that helps us coordinate our projects and manage our time. Deadlines with benchmarks – a specific action that signals the task is completed – are best. Our teams add benchmarks to all of their HOT Targets. When a team completes the benchmark on deadline, they know that they hit the bull’s eye!  Time to celebrate!
  2. The satisfaction of reward – The final gift of accountability is the reward. Rewarding your team members for their achievements is vital. In the HOT Plan, we reward our employees with an annual bonus check that they earn together. HOT Checks are based on an accumulation of HOT points gained by hitting targets on time. At the end of each year, these points are totaled, multiplied by a dollar-multiplier amount, and the resulting sum of money is divided equally among all employees. The HOT Check unifies our teams and keeps their planning realistic, yet ambitious. According to Mark, one of Pitsco’s teacher education specialists, “Incentivizing the HOT Plan … brought our goals into sharper focus.”

Good employees are your greatest resource, and the gifts of Positive Accountability nurture, protect and maximize that resource. Strengthen your productivity and keep your talent from drifting away by practicing Positive Accountability.

For more about the gifts of accountability and how make them work for you, check out my new book, The HOT Plan™, available on Amazon in eBook and print versions. For special bulk pricing (10 or more books), please visit Visit for more details about The HOT Plan™.

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