Are you sick and tired of people not being accountable and not taking ownership of basic levels of performance? Is there a lack of accountability at the leadership team level—even though the organization has been involved in huge efforts to be more data-oriented? Maybe your peers helped create performance scoreboards and dashboards to hold their direct reports accountable and they’re the ones who just don’t get it!
Leaders and organizations struggle with accountability because they think that poor performance indicates a lack of accountability. That’s not true. Instead, accountability is the result of strong leadership and strong management.
Do an Accountability Self-Check
Are you frustrated with attempt after attempt at creating a culture of accountability? The root of the issue may be closer to home than you realize. Ask yourself if each person who reports to you would agree with the following statements:
Check-in for Leaders
- I am giving clear direction. You’ve shared a compelling vision, you’ve provided room to operate without smothering, and they know the cultural rules for success.
- I am providing the necessary tools. You’ve provided access to resources, training, technology, staff, and time to achieve the overall critical roles of their job.
- I am focused on my highest value. You’ve risked letting the right people do the important things that you need them to do, so that you can do what you do best.
- I act with the greater good in mind. You model what it means to take your ego out of your actions and decision making. You demonstrate a dedication to the vision by always putting the organization first.
- I am taking “Clarity Breaks.” You regularly take time to physically walk away from the day-to-day so that you can work “on the business.”
Check-in for Managers
- I keep expectations clear. You take the time to define their role AND your role, define the organization’s core values, 90-day outcomes and key measurables.
- I am communicating well. You listen, explain, and clarify how they’re feeling. You monitor your question-to-statement ratio with every interaction.
- I have the right meeting pulse. You have regular team meetings that clarify how each person performs. You share their leading and lagging indicators to keep you and them connected to common goals without smothering.
- I am having Quarterly Conversations™. You let each individual team member know their five roles and responsibilities, how well they’re living up to each core value, and how well they’re doing on their 90-day outcomes.
- I am rewarding and recognizing. You give positive and negative feedback quickly, you criticize in private and praise in public. You’re their boss, not their buddy. You apply a three-strike rule for performance issues that need to be addressed.
Answer these Y/N statements from the perspective of ALL your direct reports. Think of each one individually. Even one No is a no for that statement.
Strong Leaders and Managers Create Strong Accountability
Accountability exists because of strong leadership and strong management. If you can truly answer yes to each of these statements and you still don’t have a culture of accountability, then your leadership team has some serious health issues that need to be addressed. Consider whether it’s time to bring in a Certified or Professional EOS Implementer.