Accountability is essential for high performance.
It is a social contract between people. You are accountable to someone for something. The someone could be an individual or a team. The something is a result.
Accountable means ‘count-on-able.’ You said it. You delivered it, just as you said you would.
‘Responsible’ is a synonym of ‘accountable.’ One definition of responsible is ‘being a source, cause, or agent of.’ In other words, if I am responsible, I can be counted on to originate the action(s) needed to produce the result(s).
Every job is comprised of an accountability: some specific result(s) you are count-on-able for producing within certain time frames.
People sometimes struggle with holding others accountable, fearing that those others will resent or dislike them and accuse them of being ‘confrontational.’ To be an effective leader or manager, your accountability is to hold people accountable in a respectful and clear-cut manner, despite your concerns for being liked.
Trust is often talked about as missing or weak in a team or culture. A necessary element of trust is that people know they can count on each other. Another definition of ‘responsible’ is ‘trustworthy.’
• • •
If accountability is not as strong as you would like with your team or organization, Barry Pogorel Inc. can help make accountability present and powerful.
Our series continues with a post on Executive Coaching for teams . Something Impossible?
Enjoy The Inside View with Barry Pogorel
What happens after a merger takes place?
That’s when senior executives are left with the often daunting task of making the merger work in the real world, with real people.
This case study may surprise you as Barry’s executive coaching for teams set about creating a new context for formerly very competitive foes.
Post-merger, what these new teams faced: Something Impossible
Post-merger, the new company was disjointed. The newly formed executive teams in the various regions of the world were made up of executives who had previously been fierce competitors.
Overall, the company’s performance was impacted by all this and in a declined state.
I worked with one region of the world as a pilot to see if we could transform it into a high-performance team/culture in a short time frame and produce a breakthrough in results.
I began working the regions executive team in a “leadership intensive”: 5 days in one month, and 5 more days a month later. We began by creating a “safe space” in which people were encouraged to be candid. The president promised this.
We examined, person by person, their strengths and defenses: we looked at each person’s formulaic ways of winning—their personal strategies.
Then we looked at each of their typical responses to threats. After a while, everyone saw that underneath the variations, there was a kind of template—something very human and universal.
A note here: my work is not psychological—but rather ontological. That is, having to do with being (ontos in Greek means “being”). And there is a generalizable “being” of being a leader. A fundamental structure that has to do with certain habitual ways of thinking, communicating, relating, and acting, like a piece of software that reliably repeats itself.
Was is the real challenge in executive coaching for teams ? Could they let their guard down?
We went around the room, person by person, exploring her/his “ways of being.” It became apparent to everyone that, although they had different variations on the theme, there in fact was an underlying theme as to how they succeeded and how they responded to threat or danger that was universal.
Everyone increasingly let their guard down, as they saw the common humanity in the room.
The president proposed, in this new-found collegiality and partnership, that they take on something big together—something impossible: a breakthrough in market share throughout the entire region.
They asked if I would train the various local executive teams in the same material and get them all on board, which I did.
A Revolutionary Result:
In a year when the region was experiencing a recession, they produced a breakthrough in market share and surpassed every crucial financial measure.
The corporate president acknowledged them for not only their superb performance beyond any other region in the world, but also for having become a seamless team.
The executives not only made something that had seemed impossible happen, but also had real breakthroughs in their own development as leaders.
Your comments and questions are invited. about this post or any issues you’d like to see in the series.
You may also want to visit “How to Choose the Right Executive Coach” for a winning approach to selecting the right coach for yourself, or your team.