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Recognizing the Symptoms of Low Accountability

June 14th, 2018  | 

Published in Accountability

The “A” word can be intimidating. As an accountability speaker, I understand that the concept of “holding people accountable” has about as much appeal as “holding people hostage.” In some people’s minds, accountability is synonymous with finger-pointing, the blame game, punishment and micromanagement. Yet accountability isn’t an old-school tenet or mean-spirited approach to managing—it’s actually a support system built on trust. Trust in leadership. Trust among colleagues. Trust between companies and their clients. Trust that empowers people through a meaningful purpose, authentic values and clear expectations.

How do you nurture accountability to reap its benefits?

First, understand that accountability isn’t a nebulous concept. It is a state of being that must be nurtured with purpose and intention. The absence of accountability saps morale, drains profits, and disenfranchises good employees while sowing the seeds of confusion, chaos and crisis.

Working with some of the world’s most successful companies as an accountability speaker, I’ve found that high-performing organizations share a set of distinct characteristics that comprise what I call the Seven Pillars of Accountability™: character, unity, learning, tracking, urgency, reputation, evolving.

Together, they form an acronym—CULTURE—that makes the pillars easy to remember. Each pillar requires equal effort and attention. Miss the mark or misfire on one or more of the pillars and you undermine your efforts.

Recognize the symptoms.

While your gut instinct—and certainly performance benchmarks—are letting you know something is off within your organization, you may not know which components of accountability are out of alignment or missing altogether. As an accountability speaker and consultant, I’ve developed an assessment that helps organizations recognize the symptoms and zero in on their root cause.

For example: Is unity within your organization fractured because some of your employees don’t know or support your mission, vision, values or strategy?

Are your people—and your organization—falling behind competitors because you don’t have a formalized approach to learning, training, development and mentoring? Are your people growing at the same rate as your organization?

Is growth faltering because your organization doesn’t have or doesn’t use a reliable system to measure what is important to your employees, customers and suppliers?

With the Accountability in the Workplace assessment, results from your organization are measured against data collected from more than 6,000 CEOs, managing directors and key executives who are considered industry leaders, and benchmarked against some of the most admired, most successful companies in the world—including Marriott, The Container Store, Nucor, Herman Miller, Ernst & Young and Sony.

Find your action path.

Recognizing symptoms and identifying the issues that are stifling accountability is step one. As an accountability speaker and consultant, I work closely with organizations to help them determine actionable steps to strengthen identified weaknesses.

We may find ways to communicate expectations more clearly and consistently.

It may mean connecting with key members of your team to identify your company’s barriers to success and creating an accountability action-plan.

We may review your tracking practices to determine if your team connects intellectually, emotionally and financially with what’s being measured.

If you’re ready to overcome the organizational and culture barriers that destroy accountability and undermine success, I’m here to help you kick-start your transformation.

To inquire about engaging Greg as an accountability speaker or keynote speaker, customizing a workshop or discussing a strategic planning session, connect with him at 214.720.3707 or via email.

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises some of the world’s most admired companies and leaders, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 200 strategic planning sessions, and he’s delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. His fifth leadership book — Decision Time: Leadership Lessons from History’s Greatest Moments — will be published in 2019 by Simple Truths.

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