What Does Accountability Look Like?

A successful leader (organizational, project or otherwise) needs to “walk the walk” not just “talk the talk”.  If you say you are going to do something, you do it.  That is accountability. 

Inc. Magazine published an article in September, 2017 by Gordon Tredgold, titled “7 Truths About Accountability That You Need To Know”.  I suggest you read it, but let me offer a few key points he makes.

You need to set an example of accountability – not just once in awhile – but all the time. People will watch you, as a leader, and model your behaviour.  If you don’t perform to your promises, no one else will.  It all starts with our leaders – with you. You build a culture of accountability through your own actions.

Accountability cannot be assigned nor delegated.  Everyone must be held accountable and that responsibility must be built into your organizational culture: ‘it just happens… this is the way we all work’.

We can’t just hope and assume. We need to hold people accountable with review sessions, check-in points and simple offers to help. These touch points offer opportunities to support, praise and encourage.

In our book, ‘7 Elements of Strategy Execution” my co-author, Mona Mitchell, and I offered seven areas within your organization that will directly affect strategy execution success or failure.  Accountability is one of them.   

“Accountability is trust and open communications. It contributes to a constructive culture where employees feel free to hold the CEO accountable for what they do or say, just as senior leaders

hold employees accountable. People in your organization should feel accountable to one another and supported by their colleagues. Leaders play a critical role ensuring people understand accountability and that they are empowered to deliver on their goals.“

A culture of accountability, suggests Gordon Tredgold “will have a massive impact on performance and results.”

Are you walking the walk or just talking the talk?


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