I was fortunate to spend an hour with Dallas Maverick’s owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban, before a Maverick’s game in the American Airlines Center.

From the many interesting things he talked about, my ears perked up when someone asked him how he stays on top of all the companies he’s invested in: 70 alone on Shark Tank, and another 75 he’s no longer as active in – plus all his direct reports in the Mavericks.

Weekly reports: One Week at a Time

“It’s very easy,” he answered. “Everybody sends me a weekly report. It needs to be weekly, and you need to tell me the bad news first. If you don’t tell me the bad news, you’re fired.”

He said he needs to know where the risks are – where to pay attention – and where to help out.

Andrew Grove, the founder of Intel, also talks about the power of weekly reports in his book High Output Management.

I used to feel bad about asking people for weekly reports because I read them very quickly – and I know they took a lot of energy to write. Now I get it.

The report benefits the writer most: to organize their thoughts, to contemplate their week, and to think about how they can be better next week. Weekly reports are the ultimate self-management tool – and a great motivator because people want to make sure they’ve made progress.

And the reader gets perspective on where the person is at, and to see how they can help.

Test out the challenge below, and learn more about accountability here.