As leaders, have you ever found yourself asking, either out loud or to yourself, “Who around this place cares as much as I do?” If you have, you’re not alone! You have the distinction of understanding “big picture” vision, goals and strategies and also the myriad actions both large and small that must be taken to turn that vision into reality.
Ideally, within the ranks of your business associates are individuals who share your understanding and feel a sense of responsibility for actions and results. Without them, it’s difficult and often impossible to achieve your aims.
Here’s the challenge: As a leader, how can you identify a work environment in which individuals are predisposed to “go the distance” and get the job done in ways that meet and often exceed your expectations? In other words, how can you spot an invigorating culture of accountability?
What Is Accountability?
Accountability has been described as the obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions and to disclose results in a transparent manner. President Harry S Truman was a champion of accountability. In fact, he had a sign with the inscription “The Buck Stops Here” on his desk. This was meant to indicate that he didn’t “pass the buck” to anyone else but accepted personal responsibility for the way the country was governed.
The Ladder of Accountability
The Ladder of Accountability is a tool for assessing the current state of accountability in your organization.
External Locus of Control/Victim Mentality
When people believe that most things that happen to them lie outside their control, they tend to shun accountability and exhibit behavior often labeled “victim mentality.” This “victim mentality” manifests itself in stages that correspond to the lower rungs (1-4) of the ladder of accountability.
Question for Leaders to Consider: What evidence of victim mentality do you see or hear inside your organization?
Internal Locus of Control/Accountable Mindset
When people believe that most things that happen to them lie within their control, when they are convinced that even when circumstances are out of their total control, they are still in control of how they experience them, and they are likely to accept (if not embrace) an accountable mindset. An accountable mindset also manifests itself in stages that correspond to the upper rungs (5-8) of the ladder of accountability.
Question for Leaders to Consider: What evidence of the accountable mindset do you see or hear inside your organization?
If you want to create a culture of accountability in your organization, we have customized leadership training and strategies to help! Click here to learn more about our leadership philosophy our see our course catalog.
And if you found this post on accountability interesting, click here to read about how to foster creativity in your organization or here for critical thinking.