December 25, 2016


Consider if there was a way for your organization to significantly enhance its competitive advantage. It would enhance productivity, results, and relationships with people inside and outside of your firm. And, it would cost you no money just personal effort.  What I am talking about is Accountability.

Accountable:  subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something.

The concept makes sense, but holding one another accountable is difficult for many reasons.  A lot of it boils down to discomfort.  How might the other person take it?  Who do you think you are to tell me?  They won’t listen anyway.  It won’t make any difference.  And of course, there’s the thought in the back of our minds, of how accountability could be turned back on me:  Well, you were late in getting your data in last month.  Well, if we had the new equipment you said we would have last year, we would be meeting our quota!

The truth is, people get the best results when there is accountability.  After all, we are not perfect, we make mistakes, we are not sure and put things off, we fear being wrong and holding up the project, we are distracted by things in our personal lives, we get burned out.  The list goes on.

The problem here is that the focus is on the wrong thing.  The focus here is personal.  For accountability to work well, the focus needs to firmly be on the outcome or results.  There is no personal attack.  It is not about how bad, stupid, lazy you are – it is not about YOU – it is about reaching OUR GOAL.  This means stepping into the discomfort that someone might take it personally.  It could get messy.

For teams to maximize the return on embracing accountability, they must

The Bottom Line:  People perform better, master skills faster, and enjoy the challenge more when there is accountability.

Rod Ogilvie, Executive coach