Creating a Culture of Accountability

As promised, I’m back with a low-down on what happened on Day 2 of my own personal journey with a Mastermind Group. As you will know from my previous blog http://cloud9businesscoaching.co.uk/practice-what-you-preach/ I have joined an executive Mastermind Group run by Penny Power OBE. For a year I am committed to meet once a month to share my dreams and challenges with Penny and 11 collaborative partners.

 

The focus of Day 2 was accountability.  At the end of our first meet, we had all shared our goals and set ourselves objectives to complete within the 4 weeks between sessions. So, on Day 2 it was time to report back!

 

The glue that ties commitment to the result

 

Let me tell you, there is nothing more powerful to whip you into action and do what you said you do, than having to openly update Penny Power and 11 other dedicated and impressive new colleagues. I mean who wants to be the person who pathetically laments, “oh I wasn’t able to do this, or that; because of this, or that”. Not me!!!

 

Of course, we weren’t expected to be Grade A students and have completed everything on our list, but if we had failed, we were encouraged to consider what had held us back and why. And this was a worthwhile lesson in terms of understanding and recognising our barriers and limitations. Plus, it allowed us to openly admit struggle or failure; and brainstorm as a group how to address and overcome it.

 

“Accountability breeds response-ability” Stephen Covey

 

Accountability is a funny word. On the one hand it conjures a somewhat negative connotation in terms of having responsibility and being held to blame if things go wrong. But on the other hand, holding yourself and others accountable brings incredibly positive results. Faster and more accurate response, improved teamwork and higher output are some of the benefits of greater accountability in the workplace. It really can be the driving force for excellence.

 

An essential leadership competency

 

Not every leader is willing to hold people accountable for their actions or lack of. Fear of conflict, fear of becoming unpopular, or simply not knowing how; are common causes for a lack of accountability. It is hard work that requires time, focus and consistency but encouraging a culture of accountability will ensure that everyone has the best opportunity to excel in their role.

 

Here’s my 5 tips for creating a culture of accountability:

  1. Set expectations. Be clear about what you want done, how you want it done and by when. Put it into context and explain how individual objectives feed into the overall business objectives.
  2. Ensure capability. It is vital that your people have the right experience, tools and support to achieve their objectives. If there are gaps, how will you resolve them?
  3. Agree weekly/monthly milestones with clear, measurable targets. If any of these slip, jump on it immediately.
  4. Provide feedback. If you have set clear expectations with agreed measurables, then feedback can be fact-based and easy to deliver on an on-going basis.
  5. Act on results. Reward good results and take action when expectations aren’t met.

 

When expectations are clear and individuals have the proper skills, knowledge and resources to perform, they are more likely to show a greater level of accountability.

 

Great companies have high cultures of accountability

 

But it is no good just to mandate accountability. Leaders who don’t model accountability can’t expect their employees to behave any differently. Accountability is necessary at all levels within a business and should cascade downwards.

 

If you struggle with accountability, you are not alone. It can be lonely at the top and with no-one to hold you accountable, it’s easy to let things slip. This is where the help of a good business coach can be invaluable.

 

“Sam will hold up a mirror to the one person who is ultimately responsible and accountable for my business and while sometimes uncomfortable it makes a huge difference.”

 

How you choose to work on your own accountability is down to you. I have chosen to join a Mastermind Group and it became very clear to me on Day 2 that accountability is one of the key benefits. My group colleagues will keep me on track and hold me accountable in moving my projects and goals forward. Just knowing that I have a regular, scheduled meetings will drive me to make progress.

 

Watch the space for the next instalment in my mastermind journey and if you are interested to explore how my coaching services or Mastermind Groups can help you create a culture of accountability, please don’t hesitate to get in contact!

 

 

 

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