Accountability is defined as the willingness to be answerable for an outcome.
Leaders skilled in accountability set clear expectations, ensure that their team members have the capability to meet expectations, and gain agreement on processes and measures of success upfront. Accountable leaders also provide fact-based feedback on progress and performance along with clear communication about rewards and consequences throughout.
Answer YES or NO to each of the statements below, keeping track of your total yes responses.
When assigning projects or initiatives to my team, I…
- Clearly explain my expectations for outcomes.
- Clearly explain upfront the consequences of failure and rewards for success, for each individual participant, the team, and for the organization.
- Ensure that individuals have the ability, training, and tools necessary to meet my expectations.
- Obtain clear agreement on milestones and other measures of success as stages in the process.
- Provide clear fact-based feedback on progress throughout the process.
- Ask how I can help, or what other assistance they may need, to achieve a successful outcome.
- Conduct after-action reviews and factor meeting expectations and accountability into performance evaluations.
How many YES answers do you have?
- If your total number of YES answers is less than 4, it’s possible that your inability to hold people accountable is hurting team productivity and morale. Developing team accountability skills should be a high priority.
- If your total number of YES answers is 4 – 5, you are doing a good job fostering accountability but also have room for improvement if you want to excel as a leader. Review your “no” answers and take appropriate steps to improve in these areas.
- If your total number of YES answers is 6 or higher, you are following good team accountability practices and are optimizing the productivity and morale of your team.