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The Leadership Quest Blog

Holding Your Team Accountable

May 27, 2016

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I continue to get questions about accountability. During some training with clients, I heard this complaint: “We have this 20 year employee and every time we give them a simple task they fail to accomplish it and someone else has to pick up the slack.”

I asked, “What they had done to hold him accountable?” I got no reaction.

It begs the reverse question: Do we really have to hold people accountable for simple tasks and simple things to be done? The painful answer, as a leader, is simple… You absolutely need to.

If you follow a process, you will find it easier. Here is a process for holding your team accountable:

First, you define what the task is.
Next, you define what you want the outcome or deliverable to be.
After that, define the specific actions. Who else needs to be involved, what all assistance do you need, here’s how much authority I’m giving you to get this accomplished.
Then, you give them the deadline. This is the key ingredient. By when does this task need to be completed?
Finally, explain what is at stake. Why am I asking you to do this? Who is impacted? What does success look like and what would happen if we fail?

This simple 5 step process needs to be done with people who don’t seem to be able to get things accomplished. The key action here is to hold them accountable to this process. This will show you if these people belong on the bus and what seat they belong in.

For many leaders, “accountability” is a terrifying word. Create clarity for yourself and your employees around goals (yours and theirs). Download a sample chapter of Accountability The Sandler Way.

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