Oversight is very popular, and obviously necessary within the workplace. Accountability seems to be less of a mandate, and that is a problem. The only way to engage yourself, employees, and/or customers is to combine oversight and accountability.
I’m not sure when accountability fell out of fashion, but a lack of accountability equates to lost employees, lost profits, lost vision. I’m talking about accountability on every level. Are you being honest with employees about the job they are interviewing for and/or the culture of the company? Are employees working within a dynamic that they operate knowing win or lose people at every level of a decision making, or production making process will be held accountable? Is the organization showing appreciation for those exceeding the bar? Are people being both rewarded and held responsible for both the good and the bad? You get the picture.
Accountability seems to surface during conversation that are wrapped within something that may or has gone wrong. This is where it gets its bad rap. Regardless of whether or not your organization is engaged in accountability, it is impacting you. Best to stay ahead of the curve and implement it on a level that makes your brand, product, and workplace more attractive to both employees and customers. Doing so will show a return on investment. Not doing so will create a people, product, and paid loss.
Accountability is the base of business, leadership, friendship, etc. The challenge within it can be very real. Two thoughts on leaning into accountability:
1.) Know that the lens you look through changes, and be aware that impacts accountability as well. Revisit what you need to address throughout your life.
2.) Accountability goes beyond you. You model and support your business’s culture, your team, your friends, and show leadership by showing others your commitment and integrity through your commitment to holding yourself and others accountable.
Accountability can be challenging because it is not always easy holding yourself accountable, nor is it always popular holding others accountable. You will often need to do a gut check and pick your path. Are you traveling the path of popularity, or the path of integrity.
How do you know if you are a good leader? Step one, lead without ego. I just saw “ego is not your amigo” somewhere. First I laughed, and then I thought how true, and how unfortunate more of us don’t realize that.
Ego can not only get in the way of your success, it can block your talent overall. If you are more interested in if you are going to get or are getting the credit, than actually getting things done, you have an ego issue. The problem with ego, is it spins into all kinds of unattractive behaviors which in turn will lift the veil on your “leadership” or more likely the lack there of.
Once people get a whiff of your ego, they’ll write you off as inauthentic. Once people sense it is about “you” rather than “we” they’ll drop their level of engagement. We operate in a very ego driven culture; subsequently, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that approximately 51 percent of employees are unengaged, and 17 percent are actively disengaged. That is significant, and obviously a huge drag on productivity.
Einstein said it best, and I’ll leave it at that…
What lens are you looking through? If you are talking about bringing people into your community to live, or engaging people in their work in your company, are you looking through your lens or their’s? If you’re not sure, just look at your results.
I once consulted to an international nonprofit that focused on advocacy, education and change through action. They had all the tools they needed. When I look at their progress today I see clearly other organizations focused on the same or similar causes have ‘lapped’ them. Why? Because they are looking through their lens, not the lens of those they want to engage.
If you want to reach your goal, and if that goal involves engaging others, the path to sustainable success is meeting folks where they are, not where you wish them to be.
When in doubt, edit. And then edit some more. If you want your stuff read remember this…people are busy. Busy people (and we are all busy people) like bullet points, brief, and don’t have time to read all the adjectives and adverbs you may be including. Edit.
You don’t have to be a boss or manager to be a leader. Communicate. Engage. Inspire.
I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin. This certainly isn’t the first quote of Godin’s that has surfaced within the blog posts on this site. While Mr. Godin is all about marketing, his thoughts expand far beyond just that topic.
I promise you, if you read his posts and/or books you’ll pull great information from them, and find them relevant beyond marketing. Godin’s work will contribute to building upon your current skill set, regardless of your field and/or focus.
The quote below, I believe, is a great piece, reminding managers and leaders of all sorts, that the goal of the organization, is greater than the goal of the individual, or heaven forbid, the individual’s ego.
I saw the following earlier today…
I wondered if this was an opinion or a fact. I came across the following, Women In Leadership=Better Company Results . Within the article, I found the following most compelling, “They examined 16 different “competencies,” like taking initiative and driving for results, and found that women rated higher than men in 12 of the categories. When it came to total leadership strength, “at every level, more women were rated by their peers, their bosses, their direct reports, and their other associates as better overall leaders than their male counterparts — and the higher the level, the wider that gap grows.””
So the question is, in a world that places high value and great demand on corporate and organizational profits along with return on investment, why aren’t we hiring more women to up our game?
In a recent article from Governing magazine, “Why Women’s Presence in Politics Has Stagnated,” I was unpleasantly surprised to see female legislators are still at the same percentage level, roughly, as they were in 1997. What an unpleasant discovery it was to read that. I believe a lot of us just assumed progress was going on. And unfortunately legislative positions do not seem to be the only areas of lag. Of the over 9,000 International City/County Management Association members only 23% are women. Even more depressing is that the percentage of women in those chief administrative positions have reminded dismally consistent at 13% since 1981.
I feel I am part of the problem as without organization’s such as The Legacy Project in Illinois or other data gathering entities I would still be rolling along feeling it is all getting better. Sadly, without a conscious, focused effort and review of government culture, either as individual entities or overall, along with data mining, progress will not magically come. How do we know this? Numbers don’t lie.
And just in case equity isn’t a motivator within your organization, women bring a dynamic into an organization’s culture that is often extremely conducive to increased positive customer service, increased return on investment, etc. So if you are not motivated by social progress, there is certainly enough data out there showing more women in leadership positions equate to increased profitability and in the case of government, wise use of tax payer dollars.
The graph below is going on three years old, but based on the figures I’ve seen lately is a fair visual representation providing a great overview of where the U.S. stands internationally when it comes to government and non-government female management. It is an additional indicator demonstrating how far U.S. government entities have fallen behind.