Improving Your View of Accountability

By Ken Byler, Owner, Higher Ground Consulting Group, LLC

I have struggled with eyesight vision problems since I was a child.  Wearing glasses in elementary school was not much fun.

The most successful leaders understand the importance of vision; not their eyesight but their foresight.

How Vision Impacts Accountability

Creating a culture of accountability at work requires balanced vision. It’s not enough to only see objectives and situations that are close by and obvious. Leaders must also be able to discern future challenges.

A nearsighted version of accountability tends to focus only on immediate results.  But this approach may weaken relationships or undermine processes.  A farsighted approach often places too much value on the relationship or process at the expense of outcomes.

When leaders prefer one mode over the other, workplace cultures will suffer.

Finding a Balanced Approach

So how should leaders address accountability problems when they occur? When a direct report or colleague makes a mistake or falls short of expectations, consider these questions.

  • What impact will this misstep have if it happens again?
  • If I ignore this mistake for the sake of our relationship, will it be harder to address similar situations in the future?
  • What precedent am I establishing with my response, or lack of one?

Sometimes our vision for accountability is clouded by how we define it. When you hold someone accountable it is more than just making sure they do what they said they would.

Leaders hold others accountable so they can become the best version of themselves.

Accountability ensures that everyone’s contributions will be their best efforts today, and in the future.

It’s helpful to remember you aren’t the only one struggling with vision at work. Every team member has potential blind spots that impact their professional development. It’s hard to achieve objectives when they aren’t clear about what might be getting in the way of success.

Your balanced vision as a leader holds the key to creating and maintaining a culture of accountability in your workplace. How will you handle this responsibility?

The good news eyeglasses are required.

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Filed in: Client News