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In a continuation of our theme ‘What is Leadership?‘, this week we look at team accountability. We all know that if a team are to realise their collective potential and deliver the results we want and expect of them, there must be accountability and yet it remains one of the biggest challenges facing leaders today. Accountability, after all, is not rocket science, but basic business discipline, so why is team accountability such a challenge for leaders?
Typically leaders come to us saying they want their people to take more responsibility. When we unpick that, what we tend to find is that it’s actually learned helplessness, rather than a fear, or deliberate avoidance, of accountability. Not only that, but the leader is more often than not actively driving the very behaviour they’re trying to eradicate! Ultimately people avoid accountability for 2 main reasons:
Unfortunately these behaviours serve only to reinforce a culture in which accountability is avoided in place of the easier solution. As well as working against accountability, the big problem with taking the easier route is that it severely limits potential.
The Good News
The common misconception amongst leaders is that people are going out of their way to deliberately avoid accountability. Although finding out you’re a big part of the problem comes as an uncomfortable surprise for many leaders, the good news is that it’s far easier for you to do something about it. As leaders, if we want to encourage team accountability and enable our people to realise their individual and collective (team) potential, we need to create a culture of proactivity.
FranklinCovey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Signature Programme™ in fact dedicates it’s entire first habit to being proactive. Using the See, Do, Get model, the effective manager is able to:
See – Recognise that there’s a way to get it done, doesn’t settle for mediocrity.
Do – sees challenges, rather than barriers; chooses to focus on the those things that they can have an impact on; seeks to gain and develop new resources, rather than limiting them self to just those currently at their disposal.
Get – With this ‘can do’ mindset, the effective leader achieves outstanding results.
Being proactive is all about taking responsibility; making your own choices and decisions, rather than relying on (or blaming) others and so accountability is naturally heightened in teams that are proactive. It promotes personal growth and development, encourages us to be innovative and creative and makes us look beyond the self-imposed limits that restrict our potential. So if you’re struggling to get your team to take responsibility, cut the apron strings and empower them to be proactive.
For more information on team accountability, see our whitepaper entitled ‘How to Create and Maintain a Culture of Accountability‘.
Want to heighten proactivity and accountability in your team?
As an authorised FranklinCovey Channel Partner, we offer The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Signature Programme™, please click here if you’d like to find out more about the programme, or contact us today to speak to a member of our team.