Leaders have a huge challenge when it comes to accountability.
They must both visibly model personal accountability and instill accountability in their team members.
This can be especially challenging when team members have the mentality that they have done enough, or it’s not their job, or they can’t do anything about the results being produced.
When people don’t feel accountable, they drop to the lowest possible level of performance that their leader will accept. The accountable leader assumes responsibility for all associates, vendors, customers, and the organization as a whole. These leaders help team members shift into the “discretionary” performance zone. This zone is where members do their best to take responsibility for their individual success and for the success of the team and the organization.
What Is Accountability?
Accountability is taking ownership and acting in a responsible way, despite personal feelings, potential outcomes, or even possible consequences.
Accountable people demonstrate maximum effort in terms of fulfilling their responsibilities and keeping the promises they have made—and as they fulfill those expectations, they also proactively respond to challenges and obstacles that they encounter.
Sometimes just being an accountable leader and teaching others about accountability isn’t enough to reach the level of discretionary performance that you need on your team. Leaders must have a mechanism to ensure accountability in others and a specific process for setting up and executing on agreements. The consistent use of accountability measures will elevate the performance of team members and solidify a culture of accountability.
Being an Accountable Leader
You must also take your own commitments and agreements seriously. When accepting an assignment or responsibility, be clear about what is within your power to complete. When you violate an agreement, admit your mistake, apologize, and repair the situation or relationship as quickly as possible. Always be honest and forthcoming with others and provide information that is clear and accurate.
In some situations, you may be privy to information that cannot be shared with employees. Act with integrity and simply share the information that you can. Always do your best and align your actions with your values. When you face adversity, be constructive in your response.
Leadership is a huge responsibility. You are accountable for bottom-line results, quality, productivity, and the motivation of other people. Thinking about and solidifying the accountability measures you have in place will ensure the lines of communication stay open on your team.
The Benefits of Accountability in Business
It can also greatly improve your team’s ability to make decisions and solve problems. Individual team members will be more confident taking action if they know they are empowered to produce quality results without explicit direction and on their own terms.
People in your organization’s culture will become more creative and shift into a proactive mindset. Every individual will contribute to the success of the team and organization. They will also strive to do the right thing.
As you enable others to become more accountable for success, you will have the energy and freedom to focus on longer-term strategic plans. As a leader, there is no better way to manage your time than to instill accountability in others.
CMOE has helped many leaders reach new levels of accountability within their organizations. Contact CMOE to learn more about how we can help your team take real ownership for results and accomplish more than ever before.