There are so many people who want to be seen as a leader; yet very few want to take ownership of the responsibility that goes along with it. This is one of the greatest challenges to becoming an effective leader. Responsibility for a task or goal can be delegated. However, accountability takes ownership of the outcome and the consequences, either success or failure. That said, do you know what accountability looks like?
Accountability in Play
If you follow sports or any type, you can witness accountability live and in real-time. The head coach of a football team generally takes full responsibility for the outcome of the game. A great coach doesn’t blame a specific player or external forces. As an exemplary leader, a good coach is always acknowledging something that he could have done better, and will do, to improve the outcome. Leaders are active, and will take initiative to influence the improve. We have come to expect this of sports coaches, to the point that we, the fans, and the public will not even entertain the idea of pointing the finger and someone or something else. As Harry Truman said, “the buck stops here.” And indeed with leaders it does.
Accountability in the Corporate Setting
In organizations, unfortunately, leaders will take credit for success, but will find a way to shift blame when there are unintended outcomes or consequences. That said, this type of behavior cannot continue indefinitely. Taking ownership of responsibility is too critical to effective leadership. You must make decisions, understanding that you cannot separate yourself for the outcome, either success or failure.
Accountability for Hiring Choices
Ultimately, leaders are liable and answerable for their actions. You must also be willing to answer to your actions or lack of action.This includes accepting the business impact for your personnel and contractual hires. Certainly, a robust screening process can be helpful in avoiding costly bad hires -who may ultimately undermine your team’s success and destroy morale.
When you embrace accountability, you will start to build a culture of accountability around you. Imagine an organization in which every employee embraced ownership of outcomes. Simply put, you will have the confidence of knowing that every employee will do what they say they are going to do.
Our strategy focuses on enabling our clients to recruit the right people for the structure in which they will perform. Please contact us to learn more about our expertise in Executive Search for Commercial Leadership positions in Medical Device and Biotechnology; including Marketing, Strategy, Sales Leadership, Training, Development, etc. We look forward to the opportunity to help you consistently improve your performance and your business!
Follow me on Twitter @PrimeCoreSearch.