I frequently get asked how to handle accountability with the person I report to versus the person that reports to me? The answer is-- you should handle them the same. He is a five-step process that you need to accomplish accountability from any perspective:
First, you need to understand the task. What exactly is it that you are asking me to do, or that I am asking you to do?
Second, what is the outcome or deliverable that you are looking for? What exactly is the conclusion? What is the deliverable? What format? Excel, or Word? All those things should be discussed.
Third, what actions will I take or what actions do you need to take? This works both ways. What authority is needed, what resources are needed? What assistance or other people need to be involved? This all needs to be defined.
Fourth, is missed most often. Deadlines. Do you have multiple deadlines? Is there an end date with multiple check in dates? What are the exact deadline dates?
Fifth, what is at stake? What are the benefits to the organization? What are the consequences if this is not competed? Who will be impacted?
If you can’t answer these questions with the person you report to, or who reports to you perhaps there is not enough clarity.
Ask these five questions to gain clarity and then hold yourself responsible. Empower yourself or who you are delegating to do the things that need to be done. Lastly, hold yourself responsible for the outcome and accountability will become much easier.