Accountable leadership is in short supply in most organizations according the global research done by Dr. Vince Molinaro, author of three best-selling books, including his latest offering, Accountable Leaders. With mediocre teams running rampant in our organizations (80%!), accountable leadership is needed now more than ever. You can catch my conversation with Vince here. I had many takeaways from our exchange but have boiled it down to my Top 3:
1) Mediocrity has Many Faces
In Vince’s research he’s found five key characteristics of mediocre leaders: blaming others, selfishness/self-serving, treating people poorly, failure to take initiative and incompetence. Chances are though that mediocrity doesn’t wear all these faces as the same time. Although bullying leaders are easy to spot, nice but incompetent leaders are often the harder to weed out of organizations. To build an accountable culture, we need to be relentless about moving leaders who aren’t upholding and embracing the important mantle of leadership out of our organizations. That includes having the courage to say goodbye to that high performing jerk.
2) Accountability Starts with You
As leaders, we have to be accountable to the expectations of what it means to be a leader. This means continually calibrating and re-calibrating on requirements of our position and adjusting our approach in order to be most effective. This isn’t easy work. Before we can expect others to “be accountable,” we need to consistently demonstrate accountability: delivering on outcomes, taking personal ownership, acting with integrity. Our behaviours ripple through the organization and create the cultures we wish to build. Many leaders underestimate their impact on culture, in my own observation. Before pointing at problems within your team, ask “what part of this do I own?”
3) You can’t be Accountable if Expectations are Vague
Defining our expectations of leaders is a crucial foundation for building a culture of accountability. How we need leaders to show up, what we’re not going to tolerate and how we’re going to sustain our vision for leadership is a never-ending exercise. Leadership actions need to align to your strategy, so as your business and environment evolve, so must your expectations of leaders. Too often organizations spend hours on strategic plans and business outcomes but very little time recalibrating on the “how” to achieve those results. What adjustments do you need to make or need your leaders to make to be most successful in TODAY’S environment?
As with all our Ask the Expert conversations, there was so much more. Vince had some great stories and examples so I encourage you to share this recording with your teams. To learn more about Vince’s work, visit his website, download the Accountable Leaders app and check out his Lead the Future podcast.
You can find recordings of all our sessions on our YouTube channel as well as on our Roundtable Academy site and here, on our blog. We’ll be back again in the New Year with some fantastic speakers. If you’d like to see someone on our virtual podium, drop me a note.
And be sure to reach out if we can:
- Help your leaders build high performance teams
- Help you create an accountable/results-focused culture
- Help your leaders navigate change, disruption and growth
All our programs are currently being delivered virtually.