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September 13, 2006

News & Opinion: Follow This Formula and Watch Accountability Improve

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 6:50 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture


Leaders are always asking how they can increase accountability to get the results they need. My advice is to start by defining your role when it comes to delivering results. Simply put, the leaders job is to ensure every member of the team wins, and winning is defined as meeting the organizations top objectives. I only wish someone would have explained this to me earlier in my career. The reason this is so powerful is due in part to the inherent quid pro quo. Throughout my career one of the best ways Ive found to help people win is to establish an accountability-based culture focused on producing results, not activities. Here is the five-step formula you can use to create accountability and achieve extraordinary results in any organization:
  1. Establish the organizations top three objectives. This means the significant few, not the important many. Once identified, objectives must be clear, concise, measurable and obtainable. Notice I didnt say easy!
  2. Assign each team member his or her respective objectives. Remember, when combined they must allow the organization to achieve its top objectives. In other words, the sum of the parts must be equal to or greater than the whole.
  3. Ask each team member what he or she needs to win. To help people win, leaders must remove the roadblocks that stand in the way. Do this by having each team member identify a maximum of three things they need to accomplish each objective. Have them put it in writing.
  4. Agree on what the leader will do to help. Meet individually with each team member to clarify the roadblocks and agree on whats needed to win and who will be responsible for making it happen. In all likelihood, the leader will assume some responsibility. Why? Because youre responsible to people, not for them. Being responsible to people means helping them get what they need to win.
  5. Reward results. When objectives are achieved, ensure that rewards are disproportionate and highly visible. Those who achieve the most get rewarded the mostand everyone should know that. Its just that simple. Ensure that people at the bottom are either improving their performance or being moved out. No one with poor performance gets to remain on the bottom for more than a year without action being taken.

What are your thoughts on accountability and how to get more of it?

Do you believe top performers like accountability? What about poor performers?

If you want to end indecision, increase accountability and productivity go to my website and get a free copy of The Leaders Daily Checklist and The Four Steps To Achieve Winning Results.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.