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Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • February 28, 2021
  • minute read

Restoring Accountability: Why It’s Important, and How to Do It 

Listen to Les McKeown read this blog post:

As an organization or team grows, individual self-accountability declines, and a leader's job often becomes bogged down in chasing the ‘loose ends’ of un-implemented decisions. 

To make it to Predictable Success you must restore self-accountability, which will in turn radically improve the degree to which the organization or team executes effectively.

Here’s how to do it

Obviously, an important first step is to use Predictable Success 'Success Factors' to hire individuals with a high degree of self-accountability, but what do you do with existing employees who seem to have lost the ability to hold themselves accountable and follow through?

Accountability has an inverse correlation with transparency. The fewer places there are to hide, the more your people will follow-through.

Think of the pilot and co-pilot of the last plane flight you took. 

You think they have a high degree of accountability to each other (and to all the passengers and crew)?

Do you think their pre-flight checklist gets ‘forgotten about’? The Air Traffic Control instructions are quietly ignored…?

Of course not – they’d be up before a Tribunal instantly, the first time they did so.

And the main reason there is such a high degree of accountability in the cockpit…?

There’s nowhere to hide.

Every action is monitored by the co-pilot and the Air Traffic Controllers in real time – no hiding in the restroom and waiting for someone else to do the job, or for the latest new policy pronouncement to pass by.

High Performers Need Transparency, Too…

Now, I’m not for a moment suggesting that everyone who fails to exercise self-accountability does so because they are slackers who have found somewhere to hide.

Many very good people lose the ability to hold themselves accountable because there is a lack of transparency upward – it’s not they who are hiding, it’s their goals, and what is expected of them, that have become unclear.

Think of a front-line employee, team member or manager, faced with endlessly ambiguous policies and procedures, incomplete or entirely absent management directives, given little or no coaching on what’s expected of them.

How accountable can they be, in that situation?

Putting the Transparency CART Before the Accountability Horse

Okay…I strangled that metaphor…

Point is, there are four steps in re-establishing accountability, and their initials just happen to spell ‘CART’:

  • Clarity
  • Agreement
  • Reporting
  • Transparency

Click here to listen to an Audioclass by Les McKeown on implementing each step of the Accountability CART in your organization or team.

What about you? Do you encourage individual self-accountability within your organization?

Let Me Know In The Comments Below!


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