Ensure accountability and be accountable. In another post, I discussed responsibility, authority and accountability (RAA’s). All three are equally important but accountability is so important it deserves some special attention.
For some, the mere mention of the “A” word strikes them with fear. Just say accountability to a high performing team and they get excited because they know it means positive feedback, praise and perhaps financial reward! Laurie Beth Jones said it best for me:
Accountability is a key factor in management because it is the cornerstone of empowerment and personal growth. If no one is accountable for a project, no one gets to grow through the experience of it. Accountability has nothing to do with blame. It has everything to do with individual and corporate growth. Accomplish tasks breed self-confidence. Self confidence breeds success. And success breeds more success. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Accountability Is Crucial To Long Term Success
It is the cornerstone for results and in its absence, complacency will rule. Hence, accountability builds culture, breeds excellence, ensures ownership, defines reality and determines the direction of a project or product.
How Does Accountability Work?
The process begins with an agreement. I do a job and my employer pays me to do the job. As long as both parties are happy with the arrangement nothing changes. If the employer believes I am not living up to the arrangement they have every right to address what they view as a problem. Likewise for me. Being accountable is an open discussion of results compared to expectations. This means transparency; open and honest feedback.
When leading teams, meet with every direct report regularly to review your agreement or job arrangement. It is a great chance to coach and to receive feedback. A great tool to use 5.15 reporting, which I’ve discussed previously.
Solopreneurs beware! If you work for yourself, it is absolutely necessary for you to determine how you are going to be accountable. One of the reasons many people strike it out in their own is because they don’t want a boss. I get it. I’ve worked for some very difficult people too. But, everyone needs accountability! Find a peer network, mentor, or coach. Begin by explaining what you want to accomplish. When you want to accomplish it. Make your goals clear. Ask someone to ask you the hard questions.
Finally, if you supervise others, you get have a pass on being accountable whether you are the CEO or not. People watch you. They follow your lead. Model the behavior you want others to replicate. They will follow your actions whether you are intentional about it or not.