Accountability in Leadership

The Value of Accountability in Leadership

Remember Shaggy in the  Super bowl commercial, regarding accountability.  When Ashton Kutcher asks if Mila took his Cheetos again, Mila responds “.. wasn’t me.”  Shaggy, sitting in their living room snorts, “well, that’s the first time that’s ever worked.”  The Ridiculous way Mila sidestepped accountability, taking Shaggy’s advice from his hit lyrics, made the commercial hilarious.  In real life, accountability In Leadership does not hold us back.  It actually clears the way for us to achieve more growth, even if it doesn’t make fun Cheetos commercials.

The Role of Accountability in Leadership

Accountability in leadership is about more than doing our own tasks well.  Unfortunately, though we are taught to perform well individually,  we are rarely taught how to lead others to perform well.  Colonel Garth shares aspects of good leadership that help bridge this training gap.  Leadership truths from military legends are available along with civilian stories illustrate universal truths of management shared by Col. Garth. 

Hold Your People Accountable

The first rule of accountability is to hold your people answerable for achieving assigned goals.  As a leader, when you assign tasks to your subordinates, you can expect one of two things to happen.  They will either successfully complete the task or they will not achieve the goal.  The way you respond to these separate events will have a lasting impact on the way your organization runs.

Holding your people accountable is not about condemning someone for failure to deliver, nor taking the blame for not delivering results.  Accountability means achieving the goals you set and that your team agreed to.  Here are key steps you can take to help your crew deliver on their commitments.

Set a Shared Vision of expectations:

To be effective, to get commitment from your people, to command joint dedication to your goals, set a shared vision.    First, make sure your expectations are crystal clear to your team.  Most of us assume the people following us understand our intentions.  The team assumes their leader is making good, sensible  decisions.  Both of these assumptions are an Illusion. 

Be indisputably  clear on what you expect team members to achieve and when.  Have a frank interactive conversation about the goal,  the plan to achieve that goal, and how team members will know if they are successfully advancing toward that goal.  Once the expectations are clearly stated, write and share those expectations with the team.  Take time to get team feedback on the plan and the goal.  Once you have that feedback, refine the plan to a deliverable realistic, measurable goal.

Assign Realistic Goals

Before assigning a task or project to your team, make sure the team member is capable of achieving the goal.  Do they have the skills necessary to perform the work?  Do they have the supplies and tools, or resources needed to meet your expectations?  If the capability is there, check the plan.  Is the plan deliverable?  If the team member does not have the skills or can’t gather enough resources to achieve the goal, step in.  Alter the team, resource options, or the goal plan.  Without possession of the necessary  requirements, your team is destined for failure. 

It is your responsibility to know the capability of your team, individually and cumulatively, and assign attainable goals.  Part of accountability in leadership means your expectations of your team are real achievable objectives.

CommandReady offers several easy to follow modules.  We call it Coffee with the Colonel.  Grab a cup of your beverage of choice and take just 10 minutes a day to learn to reach your leadership potential.  Visit Forged in 84 or call 818.403.LEAD for information on Leadership programs.

Want more? Check out CommandReady’s Accountability in Leadership part 2.