The Six Elements of Accountability that can help you achieve your goals by Peter Macy

ROCKBlue and its partners are results driven. Activities are far less important than results, especially sustained or durable results. An indispensable element for achieving results is accountability. Hence, we thought we would share an easy to use acronym to help ensuring accountability. Use this acronym for all activities and outcomes where accountability is critical.

The acronym CROCSS, is like the abbreviated term for many crocodiles. We like the association with crocodiles. They are fierce predators and rarely miss on their eating goals.

C – Check-ups / follow through
R – Reliances
O – Ownership
C – Carrots
S – Sticks
S – SMART Goals


The six elements of the acronym, when planned for and practiced, provide confidence in reaching your goals. Herein we describe each letter of the acronym.

Check-ups / follow through

Check-ups/follow through (at agreed upon times) on the goals or promises made. Both planned/scheduled and unplanned check-ups on progress, leading to adjustments.


The achievement of goals and promises is often reliant or dependent on others. If “others” don’t complete what they promised to you, then you may not be able to complete what you promised to others. It’s important to think through these reliances or dependencies. This helps determine:

a) how to hold someone else accountable, and

b) what to do if the other person fails in meeting their promises.

It’s also important to discern if someone else is not meeting their commitments and to react. The longer you wait, the harder this element will be to resolve.


Ownership, by key people, to fulfil their component of a particular goal or set of goals. Have those individuals REALLY accepted ownership? And do they have the authority and resources to meet their commitment? Buy-in or acceptance for ownership is not easily obtained. And, it can’t be rushed. It requires time, a back and forth dialogue, and approval from others until solid and workable ownership is achieved


Carrots / rewards if the goal is achieved. Individuals need positive motivators on the front end (i.e., knowing and trusting of the rewards should they be successful). And they need timely rewards on the back end when they are successful.


Sticks / penalties if the goal is not achieved. Individuals also need negative motivators up front (i.e., knowing of any ramifications should they not be successful). And they need some form of timely penalties if the task /objective was not completed successfully. These sticks do not apply if goals are missed due to factors beyond the individual’s control.

SMART goals

These goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.

If the six elements of accountability are met, you can be better assured of meeting your goals.