holding a higher standard for personal accountability

Accountability1 I was reading a blogpost recently that spoke to the issue of accountability, specifically on the leaders responsibility to hold people accountable for what they said they would do.

I was disappointed….

While there is truth in the old adage that "people will do what they know gets checked", I'm not sure if that equates to people being accountable.  More often than not it becomes more about fear-based motivation rather than accountability…

While that is a place to start, I contend that where we end is coaching people to greater personal accountability. Period. 

How's THAT for a concept?

For far too long, leaders and managers have given too little credit for employees acting…acting…well, acting grown.

The result? 

Micro-management.

It isn't that leaders WANT to micro-manage.  It is that they have come to believe they MUST in order to ensure their own survival. 

Are you ready to create a culture of personal accountability?  These tips offer a place to start:

1.  Be the model.  In demonstrating a high level of personal accountability, those that come in contact with you better understand the importance of personal accountability.

2.  Deliver your expectations and then stick to them.  In other words, if you set a check-in meeting for a week from Tuesday, don't call every day to see how things are going..

3.  That means, Trust.  A scary word I know but in the beginning as you build trust, set your check-ins appropriately to ensure that the work is getting accomplished.

4.  Coach up.  Always coach-up to the standard you desire.  It can be a long, tough, time consuming route but well worth it in the end, especially when you develop competent, trustworthy, consistent and dependable staff who keep their word or communicate appropriately if there is a problem before something blows up.

5.  Re-assess the people and the process.  Don't sell your people short.  Everyone has it within them to be accountable and responsible.  Associates at all levels feel more valued when they are trusted and respected and they do better work.  If someone can't get with the program, it may be time to re-assess whether they are on the right bus (circa Jim Collins in Good to Great).

In the next post, we'll further discuss why lack of accountability has become so profound and additional tips on developing greater accountability in ourselves and others.

Continue to be great!

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