Working with leaders around the world affords me the opportunity to see up close what works and what does not when it comes to outstanding leadership. I have seen leaders who have built incredible organizations with amazing workplace culture. And, I have seen leaders who struggle to keep their best people, attract new employees, and build a sustainable workplace culture. Here is what I find is the common denominator of the most successful, most accountable,
The Accountability Blog
Amazon is in the news again, and not for a good reason. A recent report from Reuters says a trove of documents examined by reporters confirms the on-line retail giant “stoked sales of Amazon private-brand offerings by rigging Amazon’s search results so that the company’s products would appear…‘in the first 2 or three search results’“ for customers on Amazon.in, its Indian e-commerce site. This despite sworn testimony before the US Congress from senior Amazon executives,
We are seeing a lot of headlines lately about Facebook’s decision-making, about its lack of accountability, and specifically about its leadership’s (often-stated) commitment to protect society by reining in hate speech and extremism on its platform. How serious is that commitment? A former product manager for Facebook, Frances Haugen, recently testified before a Senate subcommittee that, in her experience, Facebook “repeatedly encountered conflicts between its own profits and our safety, (and) consistently resolved those conflicts
Do you recognize an accountable organization when you see one? What does accountability look like in action? We are constantly bombarded with opportunities to help others. Last year several tornadoes struck the Nashville, Tennessee area. Those tornadoes killed at least 24 people and injured over 150 more. 50,000 homes were destroyed. Gibson guitars is located in Nashville and immediately stepped up to offer replacement guitars to anyone who had theirs damaged or destroyed in the
Usually, when we run into a challenge, we focus most of our effort on changing what we do…and we make little or no effort to change the way we think. Yet the power of thinking far outstrips the effects of doing. It is only when we change the way we think that we change what we do in a sustainable way. This is a key principle of accountable leadership: Action always follows belief. If you
Accountable leaders never tire of asking themselves a tough question: Who am I, really? They know the answer to that question is always going to be rooted, not in what they say about themselves, but in the actions that they choose to take. These leaders know their actions do one of two things: they either demonstrate full commitment to their chosen purpose in life … or they demonstrate commitment to something else. Recently, I was
Here is perhaps the ultimate accountability challenge: Suppose you were called on to turn around a company in crisis. How would you do it? There never seems to be any shortage of firms experiencing challenges that connect to a deficit of accountability. The most recent, glaring example is probably Boeing, whose CEO just departed following a series of major problems related to internal safety concerns that were withheld from regulators and others. The plane in
We can only inspire accountability. We can never bring it into existence by demanding it. This is the Principle of Accountability. And the only way to master accountability is to change the way we think. Accountability is not a way of doing. It is a way of thinking. Plenty of leaders talk about “holding people accountable” for certain narrowly-defined outcomes: getting a report done on time, hitting a performance target, taking out the trash, whatever.
An extraordinary instance of accountable business leadership made the news over the past week. It came from an employee, not from someone highly placed in the organization, and it was in service of the powerful accountability commitment I call “I stand by you when all hell breaks loose.” The accountable leadership moment came when Bonnie Kimball, a cafeteria worker at Mascoma Valley Regional High School in New Hampshire, learned that one of the students in
Accountability means keeping your commitments to people. Pretty simple, right? Well, it should be, especially for leaders. Leaders who are accountable make a point of fulfilling their own commitments to people first. They make their own commitments the starting point, the priority, in any relationship. Why? Because they know that supporting their relationships with team members is the only effective means of inspiring accountability up and down the organization.