Sunday, June 30, 2013

Accountability - What's that? And, why should I care?

Accountability....What is that?

Uh Oh!!  Another thing to add to my ToDo List.  I can't keep up now, so how can I manage accountability?  Every hear yourself say or ask something similar in your own life?

This is the reaction to interesting questions almost every leader has made in this day and age.  In reality, the real questions need to be, "How do I lead and manage with accountability?"  Why is it important and why is it important to me and the health of the organization, company and/or family that I lead?

When I am teaching, training, and coaching WatchGuard firewalls, VPNs, and Internet Security, the subject of trust and accountability comes up every time.  So many organizations, companies, and people have come to me in the last 6 months and without directly using the word "accountability," they were very concerned about things going on in their organization.  Think about can't develop to healthy levels if no one can be trusted to perform and execute on time when promised.  That is why we need accountability.

Leaders at all levels at one time believed that their people and teams were doing the right thing, but they may not have addressed accountability, nor did they "front load" accountability with the job description and expectation.  So now they are finding out that without the accountability, stuff never got done, or managed or executed on time.  That is generally what leads to disappointment and miscommunication in the end, which then keeps a "culture of ownership" from developing.

All of those things that concerned these leaders really referred back to what we call accountability.  That is a big word, and has HUGE implications for the health and vitality of every organization, company, family and person.  Every leader needs to be very good at inserting accountability into their personal lives to grow and develop healthy trusting relationships with themselves, their family, and their companies...and no, it does not mean is so much more than that.  Furthermore, they need to "front load" the accountability and expectations up front before the journey or task even starts.  Don't wait until the task is done or the event is over to think about accountability.  Building accountability and building it in pre-loaded beforehand is the tough stuff that great organizations and strong leaders know best and act on.

In this link to Lee Ellis' part 1 of his 6 part blog series on Accountability, he talks about:  Leaders and Accountability.

Lee says, "Even thought there are 14 lessons in my book, Leading with Honor, three foundational attributes rise to the top - character, courage, and competency.  To put it another way, the best leaders push through their selfishness and fear to skillfully do the right thing even when it's painful.  And part of doing the right thing is being accountable for one's actions."

To read more on the tough subject of accountability and why it is critical to healthy relationships in every person's life, visit Lee's blog at:

On Leaders and Accountability:  Notes from the Cliff - Lee Ellis on Leading with Honor

Until next time, "Keep leading with Character First." - Dane