Accountability Doesn’t Just Happen

It Starts With You

Mar 04

AccountabilityWhat’s the best way to hold my team accountable for their commitments?
It’s a question the leaders and executives I work with often ask.

Accountability doesn’t happen just by chance – it has to be something you know how to create.

You define the culture of accountability, and it isn’t a one-time thing. When you demonstrate the strategic follow-through and initiative it takes to achieve tangible success, you help your team understand they’re accountable for an outcome, not just the set of tasks along the way.

Here are five critical behaviors to help you increase accountability levels among your team members:

Don’t Settle for Good Enough
Challenge the people you work with and set their sights higher. Focus on achieving what others think is improbable; it will help you take risks necessary to succeed, come up with creative solutions, and move beyond roadblocks.

Tackle the Tough Stuff
Make difficult decisions and tackle the tough stuff up front. Be the one who clears the obstacles and focuses your team’s attention on accomplishing the tasks at hand rather than putting out fires. Walk the talk if you want others to follow you down the accountability road.

Share How Vital They Are
Communicate how their contributions are vital to the success of the outcome and the organization. Make the task meaningful to them and reward success and failure fast. When you acknowledge these behaviors, you increase the level of buy-in needed for others to hold themselves accountable for the shared outcomes.

Express Optimism
Optimism is contagious. Share your optimism about the future and your team’s ability to fail fast and adapt. If you can’t be optimistic and show it – they’ll never be.

Be Trend Savvy
If you want others to take ownership, you must do it first. Don’t bury your head in the sand. Be trend-savvy about the business climate and how organizational culture impacts success. Proactively identify the threats and risks, alert others and take quick action.

Creating a culture of accountability starts with you; it isn’t a once-and-done activity. Accountability feeds success and helps others own shared outcomes in ways that accelerate success for all.