Core Accountability Questions


What systems do you have in place to keep yourself accountable?

It can be easy to go off track when we are busy, but if you are not assessing yourself, your behaviours, your actions, on a regular basis and keeping yourself in check, it can compound to much bigger problems. 

Marshall Goldsmith, one of the world’s top executive coaches, has a fool-proof system in place to keep himself accountable. He has an associate call him at the end of every day and ask him a series of questions, forcing him to recap his behaviours and actions each day. 

While that may not be feasible for many people, there are other ways to keep yourself accountable each day. There are many habit tracking apps available, to track both your professional life (priorities, goals, learning…) and your personal life (health, wellbeing, relationships…) You can set these apps to ask you a series of questions every day.

Core Accountability Questions

For example, Marshall Goldsmith has six core questions that he is asked every day:

  • Did I do my best to set clear goals?
  • Did I do my best to make progress towards goal achievement?
  • Did I do my best to find meaning?
  • Did I do my best to be happy?
  • Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
  • Did I do my best to be fully engaged?

The key here is to start your questions with “Did I do my best….” It is important when answering these questions to take full accountability for your actions, and avoid blaming outside factors. It may be confronting when you have to admit that you didn’t do you best, but as you start to bring more awareness into each day you will start to see an improvement in your daily life and habits. 

Self-awareness and Accountability

These two traits are essential when it comes to success, particularly in business. By incorporating a daily accountability tracker, you are creating your standards and holding yourself accountable to them, therefore being more self-aware about who you are (and are not). 

Having an accountability tracker reinforces your commitment to your standards. It allows you to see the areas that need more focus and development, and breaks down large goals into smaller, more manageable actions and behaviours. 

How does this relate to business when we are referring to “self”? When we can effectively manage ourselves, we are more equipped to effectively manage others. 

“The most important conversations you’ll ever have are the ones you’ll have with yourself.” — David Goggins

Self-discipline and self-control

Accountability systems also highlight the difference between self-discipline and self-control. By managing your behaviour, you are more likely to achieve goals, improve positive outcomes, and avoid negative outcomes. 

Marshall discusses this in his book ‘Triggers’:

“Behavioural change demands self-discipline and self-control. We tend to use these terms interchangeably, but there’s a subtle difference. Self-discipline refers to achieving desirable behaviour. Self-control refers to avoiding undesirable behaviours” – Marshall Goldsmith

Core Accountability Questions

Working with Direct Reports

This methodology can also be used with direct reports with great effect.

If there is a behavioural issue that you feel needs to be addressed, or something that you need them to focus on  – then tailor a set of questions around a desired outcome –  ‘Did you do your best to …….. ?”


“Did you do your best to work on your key priorities today?”

“Did you do your best to learn something new?”

“Did you do your best to avoid angry or destructive comments about others?”

“Did you do your best to say something nice to your staff?”

“Did you do your best to ‘banish sloppiness’ in your department?”

Try it with your people  – it works!

Watch Now: Six Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Everyday- Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

What is it that you want to keep yourself accountable for? Do you want to make positive changes in your personal life, your professional life? Start asking yourself the six accountability questions every day and see how this small daily act can have great impact.

To Scale Up your business! Take our Scaling Up/Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.



Need assistance to help your team achieve your objectives to grow your business? Contact me at to schedule a free 30-minute discovery meeting.


We have been providing organisations and their leaders with facilitation support and executive education focused on strategy development and strategy execution for more than 20 years. Using business models such as Scaling Up, Exponential Organizations, E-Myth Mastery, Outthinker etc, we support organisations seeking to create or refine excellent strategies and execute them quickly and effectively.

Our expertise is based on a mixture of wide business experience, effective tools as well as a great deal of consulting and executive education. Our approach to working with clients is as unique as our specialist focus. We always seek to challenge our clients’ thinking – but equally are unafraid to roll up our sleeves and help execute the ideas we help generate. Learn more about us here or view our upcoming workshops and events.

If you are preparing for strategy development and/or a strategy implementation challenge and are committed to creating value for your organisation, we look forward to hearing from you. Contact us now