Accountability isn’t something you do TO someone

by | Aug 14, 2023

Accountability isn’t something you do TO someone, it’s something you do WITH someone…

The traditional style of leadership has been DIRECTIVE, TOP-DOWN, INSTRUCTIVE— a “set the goal and hold people accountable to it” style.

What happens with this style is that it stops people from being engaged.

…They stop thinking on their own.

…They don’t make independent decisions.

…They’re not willing to take risks.

…They go to the boss for everything.

…They don’t want to practice learning and trying new things for fear of failure and disrupting the status quo.

With 5 generations in the workforce operating with different values—coupled with technological, economic, and social changes happening very rapidly—employee expectations have changed.

A lot of employees at all levels are wanting more from work. They want to feel empowered, appreciated, valued, like they are contributing.

Leaders are more successful now when they’re

–        co-creating

–        collaborating

–        sharing ownership and responsibility

–        getting people involved earlier

–        listening to their opinions

This doesn’t mean LESS accountability.

It just means that the way you support people in achieving it is different. The way you measure and hold accountability for performance is different.

Decision-making authority can still be defined. Boundaries can and should still be defined. It becomes more of a partnership than a hierarchy.


Here’s an example—

In a recent 1:1, a leader who would have normally dealt with accountability in the traditional way, started dealing with it in the COACHING way. And the employees began to take a HIGHER level of ownership as a result!

The results of this feedback was undeniable. It:

–        allowed employees to accept feedback with more openness

–        built confidence

–        the employee actually learned from and applied the feedback

–        it helped them take MORE ownership, not less

I genuinely believe in coaching, which is why I AM a coach. But it’s not enough for me to be a coach. My passion is to share the mindset and skillset of being a coach with leaders at every level of organizations—so that companies can be more effective and so that employees enjoy the work they do each day even more!

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