Instead of focusing only on a task — “When will the ABC project be completed?” — an accountable leader also focuses on the person: “How are you doing with the ABC project? What sort of resources do you need? How can I support you?”
Do you see the difference?
Can you imagine how it feels to hear a question about a project, versus a question about you?
This is a big change for many leaders, who protest: “I don’t have time to ask how people are doing, I just need them to get things done!”
I understand. Regularly scheduled accountability meetings do take time. But so does:
1. Complaining about poor performance
2. Taking on tasks yourself because your people aren’t following through
3. Getting done your strategic tasks that you weren’t doing while you were taking over those tactical tasks
4. Firing people
5. Recruiting new people
6. Hiring new people
7. Training new people
8. Retaining people
9. Re-building the team with new people
10. Restoring confidence of the team
Let’s address your lack of time for a moment, because this is something I hear all the time from leaders who are resisting implementing my proven accountability strategies.
Yet whenever I drill down to what’s really going on, the issue is never really about time.
The actual fact is that lack of time is only a perception. The only resource we all receive equally is time. Each one of us has the same 24 hours to work with. So how is it that some people get so much more done than others?
Here’s what I’ve noticed: when something is truly important, we find the time to do it, whether it’s finding time to exercise, or read a good book or improve our golf game.
So “I don’t have time” is not a very good reason. What it really means is, “I don’t really want to, because I don’t see the value and therefore, it hasn’t yet become important to me.”
Ultimately, accountability meetings will save you time. And this time that you invest in your people will pay off exponentially. Here’s what one client had to say about this:
“Because of accountability coaching, I’ve actually created more time in my work life. I’ve learned how to use the resources and people I have more effectively than in the past. I’ve been able to let go, delegate more and be less controlling.”
When you don’t develop your people for the long-run, your success will not be sustainable. You’ll always be playing catch-up or starting from scratch. And this just compounds the feeling of not having enough time.
Some of this material was adapted from my book, The Accountability Factor: The Buck Starts Here. You can get your own copy at: https://accountabilityexperts.com/resources/alans-book-accountability-factor/