If we’re leading a team, we need to start that change in thinking by defining accountability for ourselves. Let’s define accountability as “keeping our commitments to people … starting with me keeping my commitments to you.”
I believe most leaders know what’s right. They know they have an inner voice that consistently points them in the right direction. They just don’t always listen to that voice.
Why do we tune out that inner voice? Why do other considerations sway us? Quite frankly, when things aren’t right, I find it’s because we’re focused on money first, and people second — or not at all.
One of the major challenges in our society today is that people are trying to make leadership all about themselves. They think, “Oh – I’m the leader now. That means I get a special parking place.” Or: “I’m the leader now. I get to use the corporate jet.” Or: “I’m the leader now. I get to treat people however I want.” This way of thinking is rampant. Being a great leader means you are focused on the growth, success and wellbeing of the people you lead. Never lose focus on that.
When a leader freaks out and starts changing things their people are intensely affected. Inconsistent leadership creates an environment that is full of distractions for the people they lead. When the people are distracted they cannot focus on the purpose, mission and tasks at hand for the enterprise. Great leaders stay steady and they know exactly what to be steady about.
This is the problem with leadership today. Leadership is never about the leader. Leadership is always about the people who are being lead. This means that the idea of “self-leadership” is really a total falsehood. You can’t lead if you don’t have people to lead. And, if you have people to lead, people you are responsible for, then it is always about them.
Do you want to do business with organizations who do not have values, ethics or care about the people they do business with? Do we value a service so much that we will look the other way when people and organizations break rules, or even worse, laws? How can accountability drive organizational performance?
When you help someone be accountable both parties benefit. When you hold someone accountable it’s one-sided. When you help someone be accountable you get a result and through the experience the person grows.
Accountability is always about the people. Discover the connection to valuing people and being accountable.
If we don’t demand the truth we cannot also expect accountability to be present. When we stop setting the expatiation of honesty chaos presents itself. It may not be popular or easy to confront someone but settling for anything less than the absolute and compete truth creates a culture where anything goes.
We have an accountability to everyone around us. Accountability isn’t in one direction. Accountability truly is a 360 degree relationship.