A common challenge for leaders is to get their teams to take ownership for the goals they have set. Accountability builds extraordinary trust in the culture when people feel secure in the knowledge that everyone will be held to certain standards. When leaders don’t hold people accountable, the opposite is true. It creates a sense of disappointment, inequity, and insecurity.
As you work toward accountability, you might try one of the following:
Listen to your language and to your thoughts. When things go wrong and you find yourself blaming or accusing others, stop. Draw back and ask yourself, how can I close the window and focus on the mirror?
At work, be accountable by holding your direct reports accountable for their actions. Always clarify expectations first so that everyone knows what they’re accountable for and by when.
When people account to you, allow them to evaluate themselves first against the results you’ve agreed upon (most people will be tougher on themselves than you’ll be); then follow through with the agreed-upon or natural consequences of people performing (or not). Remember, the people you rely upon most in your company—the performers—like to be held accountable and want others to be accountable, too.
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