Accountability is a tricky concept. Leaders often use it to describe how they’re going to drive execution of various strategies to achieve a specific goal…hit a budget…launch a new idea…or simply maintain connections with key stakeholders or clients. It is often focused too heavily on team members exclusively.
So easy to describe in a sentence or two. Much more difficult to implement effectively.
The full name of this blog is NoExcusesHR - holding ourselves accountable. That last part isn’t mentioned very often, yet it is intended to be a central component of the messages I share.
Why? Simply put, leaders hold all the power in organizations. They hire, fire, set strategy, approve budgets, establish communication norms, etc.
Leaders decide everything.
So then, where does the real accountability lay? Surely our team members need to have clarity about their roles, responsibilities and work. However, pushing the focus on accountability nearly exclusively to those who work on our teams is, in my view, misdirected.
Real accountability starts and ends with leadership. Juggling an ever-growing list of priorities can be extremely challenging, at least it is for me, particularly when the pressure continues to grow.
Yet, that pressure creates an opportunity to expand the roles our team members play in support of that never ending list of priorities. Bonus here…in doing so we are trusting our colleagues as we give them greater responsibility and allow them to actually grow and develop versus the standard lip service many leaders give but never deliver on.