How to demonstrate accountability in leadership?
Over 12 years ago we made the decision to implement a new philosophy on leadership supporting our vision to make a remarkable difference for each other, our customers, and within our communities. Our goal was to inspire the Etech leadership team to embrace the challenge to conform our company to a servant-led organization. The pillars of Etech’s servant leadership culture are our 12 leadership commitments.
Those commitments are:
- Being a positive influence
- Valuing others
- Leading with integrity
- Leading with humility
- Leading with courage
- Being a team player
- Communicating well
- Holding yourself and others accountable
- Adapting to change
- Being a lifelong learner
- Being creative
- Embracing, living, and casting our vision
I encourage each of you to read, embrace, and self-evaluate. Today is the final blog of this series and the topic is Accountability.
At Etech, being accountable is having the self-discipline to work effectively and efficiently and being results-focused. Blaming others will not be a response for those who hold themselves to be personally accountable.
Below are some ideas to help you lead with accountability :
1. Common purpose
I believe that accountability starts with purpose. Why is what I am doing, or asking you to do, important for our company, our customers, or in our communities? It is critical that everyone understands the importance of what is being measured as it relates to the longer-term goals of the company, the customer, the team, and each person individually.
2. Clear expectations
The second step is to set clear expectations and to clearly define what success looks like. Telling someone that they “need to do better” is not clearly defining success. Telling someone that “I got it” or “We are on it”, is not clearly defining that you understand what is expected. Having clear expectations of what success looks like is critical in holding yourself and others accountable.
3. Communication of the road map to success is key
Once the purpose and success have been clearly communicated, the next step is to communicate how we are going to get there, and how I am going to support and serve you on the journey. Remember to address the different communication styles and preferences of your team by delivering your message in different ways and always remember to close the loop by asking for clarification from your team member so that they understand what is expected and how they will get there.
4. Coach, calibrate, coach, calibrate and coach some more
There is nothing more important we can do than coach and calibrate. Here is what you agreed to deliver, here is how, and now, how are we doing? This is not a one-time event, it is daily. The greatest athletes, musicians, performers, etc. are coached and critiqued daily. You cannot coach and calibrate with someone if you have not observed them taking a call, handling a chat, interacting with a customer, or leading a meeting. As a frontline leader at Etech, 80% or more of my time should be spent observing, coaching, and calibrating with my team members. The other 20% should be on investing in making myself better.
5. Consequences and results
The final step is to ensure you establish clear and compelling consequences for results. Remember, consequences can be good or bad! When goals are hit, celebrate, and celebrate often. When goals are missed or behaviors don’t change, you must follow through on the consequences committed. If you continue to allow poor performance and unacceptable behavior on your team, I promise you that it will soon become the status quo and your better contributors will leave.
6. Lean in and love
It takes courage to lean in and show others you really care about them and not just their results, but this is what being a leader at Etech is all about. Results and performance are necessary, they are what provide the resources so that we can continue to invest back into each other, our customers, and within our communities. Always remember that numbers and goals don’t drive people. People with a purpose drive the numbers and achieve goals. Goals may motivate you in the short term, but they will not sustain you over time.
I encourage you to lead and serve with accountability, it is a choice you get to make each day.
Until next time, may you make a difference in the lives of the people you touch each day.