Wouldn’t life be great if everyone just did what they were supposed to do? Did what they said they’d do? Did what you told them to do? Imagine that utopian workplace where communication flowed freely in all directions – up, down, sideways, among your entire team, through functional areas, across regions, and around the globe. Picture that wonderful place where innovative projects are completed on-time, on budget, to wild acclaim. Clearly defined goals are set to achieve strategic priorities, aimed at bringing your company vision to life. Ahh, paradise!
The question is, who’s responsible for making that utopic vision a daily occurrence? The board? The CEO? The Leadership Team? Managers? You? In a word, everyone. Only when every one of us takes (notice the action verb there) responsibility for our achievements do we begin to realize a culture of accountability at work. And it all starts with you.
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and asked yourself, “What have I done to get myself here?” “Here” could be a wonderful place of joy and accomplishment, or a place of misery and stress. Either way, it’s our own choice and action – or inaction – that lead us to where we are. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to lay the blame outside of ourselves. Just look at the way this article began, with questions aimed at envisioning an ideal state through the lens of “the other,” when we really should be asking ourselves, every day, “Given all that’s going on around me, what can I do, what will I do to move forward?”
At this point, especially if you’re among the 95% of us who are living with the daily stress of having more items for which you’re responsible than hours in the day, you’re probably thinking, “Take off the rose-colored glasses, Joe, and come back down to reality.” I get it, I feel you, I’m picking up what you’re putting down. There are many things that are beyond my control: a years-long worldwide pandemic, inflation, others who don’t set clear expectations, confused priorities, unclear goals. Yes, and, given all that is true, what will I do to improve my own performance, to contribute to my organization? Further, to foster a culture of accountability within my workplace, what will I do to enable my colleagues to get comfortable with the discomfort of asking themselves that very question – and then creating an action plan to bring it to life.
Start With These Fierce Training Models
The great news: you’ve come to the right place. We have models, tools, and tangible steps you can take to foster a culture of accountability right now:
- Accountability –help ourselves and others choose to be accountable
- Coach – get curious and dive deep with your team, your peers, your boss as they strive for to be more accountable and achieve their full potential
- Team – as you bring your accountable action-plan to life, leverage the brilliance around you to make the best possible decisions for you, your functional area, your organization
- Delegate – develop and grow the talent all around you by creating clear the expectations that enable others to choose accountability
- Feedback – with grace and candor, help those around you who are important to your own success see where they are falling victim to their conditions and then choose accountability
- Confront – enrich relationships by confronting the behavior of those around you who are struggling find their own accountability path
That’s how we make the world a better place, one conversation at a time!