Why personal accountability is the key to surviving in uncertain times

Darren Finkelstein is one of the rare people who is comfortable with uncertainty and thrives when times are tough.

Known as ‘The Accountability Guy’, it’s his consistent accountability to himself and others, along with his calm and controlled approach to all situations, which has seen him succeed despite many unexpected challenges throughout his career.

Darren said that now, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is important than ever to calmly look at what’s ahead and understand what you can control.

“People when they’re overwhelmed and they’re anxious … they just don’t know where to start,” he told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast.

“As a leader, you want to be able to deliver a really calm voice to people. You want to let them know that you’re not sticking your head in the sand, that you’re absolutely facing up to it and that you’re not alone.”

Darren is now an accountability coach, business adviser and presenter through his business tickthoseboxes.com.au. He dedicates his career to helping others adopt personal accountability to survive and thrive in these uncertain times.  

Having worked with many high-performing, entrepreneurial business owners, executives and their teams, Darren knows all too well the importance of full accountability in the ‘world of delivering, implementation and execution’.

“So what [accountability] really means is that they do the things they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do them, and they get their teams to do exactly the same.

“If you can find someone to hold you to account, you have a 95 per cent chance of achieving those goals, promises and task you’ve set out to achieve. That to me is game changing in business.

“This is about doing what you need to do right now and doing what’s important right now … you need to just be honest and calm with your communications. No one wants to listen to someone ranting, raving and panicking.

“Everybody’s listening to everybody right now, which is a wonderful place to be.”

With accountability and clear communication comes a sense of unity, and Darren highlights how one of the best ways to push through current fears and manage the challenges at hand is to show empathy and refocus.

“We just need to be nicer to other people … it’s not about what you can sell to your clients right now. It’s about how you can help them get through this stuff, and if you can focus on other people, the karma train will come around and you will be rewarded for it,” he said.

“We need to accept the fact that this is the situation … you’ve just got to appreciate the things that you do have … but now’s the time to really refocus on what your business might look like moving forward because your business plan has been thrown out”.

Darren’s previous experiences in a high-level managerial role with Apple then running a successful entrepreneurial business in the lifestyle and marine industry has shown him the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone, making the most of your situation and learning from your successes … and mistakes.

“I got retrenched from Apple. All I had left was my skill set. What was I going to do when I had a passion for boats? How can I bring those two areas together? What was I going to do to make something with the pieces and the hand that I’ve been dealt with? And I think that’s always held me in a good position in times like these,” he said.

“We’ve just got to make the best with the tools that we’re given, whatever the regulations are, whatever the new rules are … what is a new hand that we’ve got and how best can we go to that marketplace?

“Particularly in terms of investment success, it’s to know what my strengths are. I’m not a financial person, I don’t know the share market, so I’m looking to surround myself with experts who are, and I’m going to listen to their advice and I’m going to act it out and implement it. But I know what my strengths are and I’m going to stick to where my strengths are and don’t try and be something I’m not.”

Darren also sent out an uplifting message to listeners on the temporary nature of the current global situation.

“What we’re experiencing right now is one part, one story in our life. It is not our life…this will pass. And we just need to know what it is that we’re given and go to market with that do what’s important right now.”

Listen to the full interview here.

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