Most of the time, when you react to a situation, it happens by default. And that reaction will mostly depend on what you’ve practised the most. (i.e. what you’ve done and seen others do.) In other words, your programming. This may be a good or bad thing with regard to success, or whatever you are … Continue reading “The 5 Things (not so secretly) Sabotaging Your Success”
The most direct and lasting path to changing your business is changing you. It’s not the easiest path – in fact, it can be quite the opposite – but it is one of the best, and for good reason. So what does that mean for you? The Hard Truth The simple hard truth is that … Continue reading “The Hard Truth Every Business Owner Needs to Hear”
It’s a little cliche and, at times, a bit hard to buy into, yet I still firmly believe that we (you, me and everyone else) can create whatever kind of life we want to have. And obviously that includes your business. Although we all have different starting points in life, we all live in the … Continue reading “Ways to Create the Life You Want (that are backed by science!)”
Systems, while not the answer to everything, can certainly be one of those things that brings a great sense of control to your business. The trick is creating them in such a way that: 1. They work, 2. People use them, 3. You can keep them updated and relevant. And doing those three is not … Continue reading “Using Trello to Create Checklists You’l Actually Use”
Caution! – If you haven’t watched Part 1 and Part 2 of this video series, be sure to do that now, before jumping into this one. When it comes to creating a marketing plan that works, one of the major causes of floundering teams is a lack of cohesiveness in their planning for execution. I’m … Continue reading “How to Create a Marketing Plan That Works (Part 3)”
On September 30, Jamie was interviewed by Eric Dye of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network about dealing with growing pains and managing the internal and external challenges that come with growing a successful business. With tips from our business coaching toolbox Jamie painlessly describes what specific characteristics and skillsets are needed for an entrepreneur to have successful … Continue reading “How to Master the Inner and Outer Game of Business Growth”
Here is a recent interview Jamie did with Jenny Seaton of Curtin FM talking about the benefits of workplace productivity apps.
Caution! – If you haven’t watched the first video in this series, be sure to do that now, before jumping into this one. Not doing so could cost you thousands in wasted marketing dollars (not to mention wasted time). OK, Now that you are armed with the thinking and knowledge to ensure your marketing … Continue reading “How to Create a Marketing Plan That Works (Part 2)”
The marketing blueprint is really about getting inside your customer’s mind to understand how they think. When you can understand how someone thinks, you can speak to them in a way that is going to make a connection. That’s what marketing is all about. Too often companies make the mistake of marketing in a way … Continue reading “How to Create a Marketing Plan That Works (Part 1)”
A culture of accountability has many advantages. Among them are: an increase in team performance (obviously) high morale (because people are growing and getting shit done) lower stress for you the leader (because you’re dealing with things proactively) ; and business results (when a team is thriving and executing, result have to happen – it … Continue reading “The Truth About Accountability”
A culture of accountability has many advantages. Among them are:
- an increase in team performance (obviously)
- high morale (because people are growing and getting shit done)
- lower stress for you the leader (because you’re dealing with things proactively) ; and
- business results (when a team is thriving and executing, result have to happen – it can’t be any other way)
If that sounds attractive (and it should), then the question to ask yourself is “how effective am I at building a culture of accountability?” You’ll be among good company if your answer is lower than you’d like it. It’s a common trap—so let’s not stay there. Let’s take it up a notch (or 10). And here’s how you can do it.
First, the truth
You can’t hold someone accountable.
Sure, you could use all to go to tactics we see some parents using – yelling, guilt and shame (I don’t recommend any of those – in your business or with your kids) but would you rather that YOU have to change someone’s behaviour or would you rather THEY do it? Your true goal as a leader is to help people grow their sense of internal accountability. Your role is to help them either want to get it done or to develop the skills to get it done.
If a person has clarity on the need, the drive to do it and the skills and the resources to do it, they will act. The part of leadership that encompasses accountability is being able to identify and shift where a person has a block. It is usually one of those three elements that are lacking.
With that principle understood, let’s look at the tactics.
Step 1 – The Relationship
For communication to be effective, a relationship needs to be healthy. We listen most closely and openly to those we respect and those whom we feel respect and care for us. Knowing this truth, it is critical that your relationships with your team have a healthy foundation of mutual respect and care. So your first step in helping someone develop their accountability is to check with your own internal view of that person. Second, check in with your view of yourself – self-respect is critical.
Where respect and care are lacking, communication will have an edge, and the intent behind the act will flavour the communication in an unhelpful way, whether you mean to or not.
Step 2 – Clear expectations
To be accountable for something, you first need to know what you are to be accountable for. It sounds obvious, but over and over again we’ve seen lack of clarity between the leader’s expectations and that of the team. Put things in writing. Test your communication by having the person repeat back to you the communication they have received.
When it comes to clarity of roles in the business, we are big believers in position contracts that outline 3-7 key outcomes a person is accountable for. These are defined by criteria for success, so everyone is crystal clear on what the expectations are.
(Fill out the form below to download a free sample)
Step 3 – Framework for the conversations
We use a FeedForward system that is a document allowing two parties to have a candid and objective discussion.
(Fill out the form below to download)
The intent behind the discussion is how to help a person move forward vs. pointing out where they are doing badly. The conversation is driven by the team member, not the leader. The leader acts more as a facilitator to help the person discover opportunities for themselves in the three areas we previously identified (clarity on expectations, motivation, skills & resources).
When these conversations happen proactively (before there is a problem), the feeling behind the interaction is way different than when it is too late.
Now, if you have a situation that is already too late—no problem. Still get started immediately, but you’ll need to take complete responsibility for your lack of action to date. Before you can express your dissatisfaction with their performance or behaviour, you may need to own up to not being clear about expectations or giving more guidance before now. Always point the finger at yourself before pointing it at others.
There is a very good chance that if you feel there is a problem, the other person knows it too, or they are just plain unhappy at work. Either way, there is a good reason to get the issues on the table and sort it out. You both stand to benefit.
Ideally, you don’t want to let it get to that stage. Be the leader you know you are. Be assertive and give your team the gift of accountability. With a strong sense of internal accountability, everyone’s lives become better, and that will make your business better.
When your people grow, so does your business— sometimes exponentially.
Good luck and I’d love to hear about your experiences.
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