My More Human Leadership philosophy and practice is guided by 8 core principles, and if they are followed and practiced well, a leader can achieve what I call the “success trifecta” – a great company, happy employees, and a fulfilled leader.
One of the pillars of the more human philosophy is the establishment of the Culture of Accountability. It’s the key to getting to a place where “the need to be good is replaced with a relentless passion to be great”.
There are 10 things every leader must do to foster (and keep) this culture:
1) Roles & responsibilities are clearly (and properly) defined – What are the expectations of every position, and why do they matter? They must be thought through, and documented. It’s time consuming, yes, but there will be a huge return on that investment.
2) New hires reflect a match of the right personalities (and skillsets) with the jobs – No matter how hard we try, we can’t change personalities. If they are not predisposed to thrive in a Culture of Accountability, don’t hire them. Use a proven personality profile test to screen your applicants – I personally love (and use) the Predictive Index (PI).
3) The “what” and “why” are communicated, relentlessly – The leader is a “contextual conduit”, providing clarity and consistency at every opportunity. And I mean EVERY. You’re not saying it enough until you apply Terry’s Rule and hear “there he (or she) goes again”.
4) The right metrics & measurements are set up – Each position needs objectives measure of success, from both a personal, team, and company-wide perspective. Choose them wisely, and keep them to a small and manageable number. Here are my favorite metrics.
5) The metrics are monitored and measured, relentlessly – All the cool metrics in the world can’t do a lick of good unless there’s a human digesting (and using) them. My biggest pet peeve is wasting valuable time by creating reports that are never read.
6) Performance reviews are not “have to dos” but “want to dos” –Interactions between leader and teammate regarding performance should be an ongoing open dialogue, not a process driven, obligatory drudgery. They should be welcomed, not feared.
7) When expectations are not met, consequences must follow – It’s all about being fair and honest– it not only affects the person involved, but the entire team. I call it “Full Spectrum Leadership” (here’s more on that).
8) Peer mentoring should be encouraged – There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing long-time teammates take a new peer under their wing, or seeing team meetings that rarely need management intervention to inspire better performance.
9) Great performance HAS to be acknowledged and rewarded – The other end of the spectrum but just as important (see #7 above).
10) Leaders have to show the way and hold themselves accountable – It all starts with YOU. You have to “walk the walk”. You have to be more human. Only then will the Culture of Accountability really take flight.
Don’t just “need to be good”. Go for greatness. Greatness will get you to the trifecta.
And believe me, it’s an awesome place to be.