A leader is a dealer in accountability. They model what it means to be accountable. Remember, one is responsible for, and we account to. A great leader accounts to his team for progress on commitments he has made to them. He accounts to his upline and shareholders for progress in rolling out the strategy and the impact of that strategy. He understands that every problem that stands in the way of achieving targets and objectives is his problem – he owns it and he must find solutions. He tackles problems and finds solutions rather than just accepting that it is there and working around them. I am amazed at how often I work with clients who have just learned to live with problems that are actually solvable. When I coach them through the possibility that the problem can be solved and situation changed, they realise that they had simply been living with the problem. If something in the environment is working against the team’s efforts, the leader accepts that he is accountable for finding solutions – and he tackles problems one at a time.
In their book, The Four Disciplines of Execution, S.Covey et al advocate that one of the four disciplines is to create a cadence of accountability. This means that team members get together regularly and account to one another for progress they have each made against their strategic goals – they come to the meeting prepared to account to one another. This is so different from “being held accountable”. One is supremely adult, while the latter is far more “parent-child”. How can you replace holding team members accountable with a very adult cadence of accountability? How will you model this cadence of accountability by accounting to the team for your own progress?
Make sure that you haven’t missed out on any of the previous articles with their helpful approaches and methods to build capacity within your team while leading in an inspirational and visionary way.