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Hiring is more challenging than most people realize.  Effective hiring begins with a pre-hiring process that provides clarity about whom you need to hire, what training, skills, etc. must that person have, and what steps must be taken before you attempt to find him or her.  Most employers don’t have a thorough process to hire effectively.  Make sure you have a solid process.

A solid onboarding process can prevent a ton of frustration, increase your new hire’s effectiveness right out of the gate, and return an immediate ROI to the company.  Because of poor onboarding, most employees fumble around for 6-18 months before they truly understand what they need to do to be successful in their job.  Don’t let that be true in your company.

Most employees view that once they have hired someone their work is done.  In reality, your work has just begun.  Employees don’t develop themselves.  They need guidance, encouragement, and accountability to reach their potential.  If you want to see your employees grow to their full potential, you must develop them.  Otherwise, they will settle in and flatline into a mediocre worker.  Don’t assume your employees will grow. Make sure of it.

Retention does not occur accidentally.  People do not usually leave because of money.  They leave because of poor management.  To stay with your company, employees need to feel valued, appreciated, and perceive opportunities for growth.  If you want to retain employees, you must create a sticky culture where people do not even entertain leaving your company. 

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6 Steps to Create Personal Accountability

August 14, 20235 min read

I recently spoke to a group of real estate brokers who wanted to focus on better accountability. In this session, we walked through different steps that produce effective accountability.

I have identified 6 specific steps to help leaders establish or improve their accountability. Continue reading to discover these 6 important steps in creating good accountability!

Step #1 – Choose a specific area in which you desire to be accountable.  

Accountability is a good thing, but no one can be accountable about everything. How do you choose what area in which you will be accountable? Let me suggest that you choose one of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in your business.  

For example, the brokers to whom I spoke chose to focus upon “calling their contacts.” By this I mean each of them have a list of potential customers or clients. In a brokerage business, it is important to periodically reach out to your sphere of contacts to see if they or someone they know might desire to sell or purchase a home.

Brokers want to stay “top of mind.” Since most brokers do not like to make these calls, they rarely do so. By not calling, however, they frequently miss out on potential business. Everyone at this session agreed that they wanted to be more accountable in this area.  

Choosing a specific area is very important. Otherwise, being accountable becomes more of a wish than a reality.  

Choose a specific area in which you desire to be accountable

Step #2 – Determine a concrete goal for that area.

It is important to determine a concrete goal in your area of accountability. For example, the brokers chose to become better at making calls to their contacts. What precisely does that mean? Such a statement is too general.  It is a desire that cannot be measured.  

After much discussion, they decided to make 5 calls per day to their contacts, Monday through Friday. That’s concrete. You can measure if you make 5 calls per day.    

Concrete, clear goals enable you to be accountable.  If you lack clarity about what you desire to do, it will not occur.     

Step #3 – Decide how you will measure your results.

Once you choose a concrete goal, you must determine how to measure if you reach it. The method you use doesn’t matter. That you measure your results REALLY matters.  

It was interesting that the brokers chose different ways to track their results. Some chose to use their phone, some their CRM, some put it in their planner, etc. It really doesn’t matter where you keep track of your results. Just make sure you do track your results.  

If you do not track your results, you will assess your progress by “your gut.” I often hear statements like “I think I’m doing fairly well in calling,” or “I’ve done better lately.” I always respond by asking, “How do you know?”

Unless you tangibly track your results, you are just guessing. When you keep track, you take guessing out of the equation. You know that you reached your goal or that you did not.

Grow Your Business By Getting Out of the Way

Step #4 – Determine how frequently you will report your results.

Determining the frequency of your reporting is important. If you spread out your reporting too far, you will postpone executing the tasks until the goal gets closer, then rapidly try to make up for what you failed to do.

For example, if the brokers decided that they would average 25 calls per week and report bi-weekly, many would push out their activities until the deadline was upon them. Then, they would frantically spend an entire day making their calls to reach their goal. Most of them would hate doing this and most likely stop doing it in less than a few months.

Thankfully, the brokers decided they would report weekly and that their goal was to call daily. 5 calls a day is very reachable. If they make and keep track of their calls consistently, then they will clearly reach their goal. By reporting weekly, they force themselves to develop a regular habit and execute on what they want to do.  

Step #5 – Choose what it will cost if you fail to meet your goal.

Having some cost associated with failing to meet your goal is important. Everyone knows that consistently making calls should produce growth. However, these are pleasurable results. Pain has a way of motivating us more than pleasure.

The various brokers choose different pain points for not meeting their goals. For example, one accountability group chose to obligate themselves to visit the gym, if they failed to meet their goal. Since those brokers did not like to make gym visits, they felt it would motivate them to make their goals.

Whatever you choose needs to be painful enough to motivate you. It can be something as silly as making a $50 donation to a political candidate that you do not like if you fail to meet your goal. Because you do not like that candidate, you do not want to give money to his or her campaign. Therefore, you will make your goal.

Goal Setting

Step #6 – Choose to whom you will be accountable.

We regularly hear about accountability partners. The word “partners” implies 2 people. I encourage people to have 3 people or partners in a group. With 2 people, it is easy to let your partner “off the hook.” You know, “he had a bad week,” etc.

Having 3 people in your accountability group makes it much harder to let people slide. In suggesting this concept to the brokers, they purposely chose to group themselves with people who would hold them accountable. We had a great deal of fun teasing each other about how they were going to hold the other people in their group accountable. Their results will likely be favorable.

Accountability is an important principle. Few people have the ability to hold themselves accountable. 

Holding each other accountable requires you to answer the following questions.  Have you determined your KPIs in your organization? Have you set concrete goals and developed the ability to measure them? What will it cost if you fail to make your goal? How often will you report to your accountability partners? 

Having accountability may be hard, but it will be worthwhile. Have fun with this! Most importantly, just do it. It will improve your work and increase your productivity and your profitability.  

Strategy Session

Dave Pennington PhD

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Mike Kanty

Dave is a calm and thoughtful leader. His focus on Pastoral Leadership is ideally suited to his skills and life experience. Dave helps pastoral leaders develop and implement a church growth system that reaches and impacts their communities. If your vision for your Church is getting fuzzy or you are challenged with not just retaining but inspiring and growing an active congregation reach out to Dave at Penn Coaching and Consulting.


Kristin Sherry

Dave has been consulting with me for about half a year and helps me stay focused on what's important for YouMap LLC to scale and grow. The YouMap® Coaches and Facilitators love his quick start coaching process and everyone finds his insight to be extremely beneficial. He is a trusted partner and a blessing.


Bob Sager

Dave is one of those people who, upon meeting him for the first time, you feel like you've known for years. Easy to talk with, he takes a non-judgmental approach to helping business owners become more successful and have more fun.

As a member of one of the Mastermind Groups I run, Dave has always applied his knowledge, experience and imagination to helping others solve their biggest challenges. I am so pleased to know him and recommend him highly.


Mike Chirveno

I had the pleasure of working with Dave on an executive team for a couple of years. His ability to identify the "big rocks" in a situation, fashion the best "next steps" and marshal the efforts of a team to execute are the best I have seen. Dave is a gifted executive coach who makes his clients more productive, helps them stay focused on their highest priority tasks and probably most importantly, gives them a good sounding board for the important decisions they must make. There is no one I could recommend more heartily than David Pennington.


Heidi Chapnik

I have known Dave for several years. It has been an honor to know him and engage with him at his best. Dave is a heartfelt salt of the earth man of integrity, which belie his talents. Dave is super focused, organized and effective in decision making, problem solving and team building. His approach as an executive coach is open door, empathetic, yet firm and strong. Dave is able to build teams after on target analysis of challenge areas. His wide range of knowledge spans to all levels of management and his effectiveness knows no bounds.


Mark Burdette

Dr. David Pennington provided insightful, strategic business coaching that enabled my commercial firm to grow from 1 to 13 brokers and expand from 1 to 4 different geographical locations. He assisted with hiring & developing brokers, putting processes in place to manage and grow my firm. He is wise, encouraging, and a good personal friend. If you want someone who will help you grow as a leader, you cannot do better than hiring him!


Anthony Totta

Doc Dave has been a very positive influence by challenging me to become more focused and thereby more effective. He showed me effective ways to prioritize. His "spin less plates and spin the remainder well" approach for me has been just what I needed. I am thankful Dave is now offering himself full time as a coach mentor. I am sure he will help many folks from many walks of life as he did me.


PJ Petrillo

He is an excellent instructional leader who remains cool in a crisis, and responds well with clients and employees alike. David is a diverse individual who will be successful on whatever path he chooses to work within. He is a team player and mentors others well too.

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