Accountability Avoidance

April 9, 2012

“Failing to hold someone accountable is ultimately an act of selfishness.” – Patrick Lencioni

After reading and thinking about that statement, I realized how true it is in my own life.  We talk a lot about conflict avoidance, but it seems that we have a more of a major issue with accountability avoidance – especially on leadership teams.  It seems easier to engage in conflict than accountability.  Why is that?

For me, I realized that on one of the teams I serve on, I was behind on some things and if I called people out on something, then I was subject to being called out.  Not a very noble reason for avoiding accountability is it?  Seems to fit in the selfishness category.

Additionally, there are two types of accountability – one being related to performance and the other related to behavior. The first type is easier – did you make your numbers?  Did you complete your tasks?  And so on.  The harder type – and more important one – is accountability for behavior on the team.  It is harder because it is more subjective and harder for people to handle than conflict.

Accountability for behavior among the members of a leadership team is critical for the success of the team. Lack of preparation for team meetings, failing to engage in meetings, lack of attention to details, lack of discipline in meeting responsibilities, poor attitudes and so on are behaviors that should be addressed by other members of the team.  Side Note:  Peer-to-peer accountability is more effective than accountability from the team leader.  Behavioral issues always precede performance issues and tend to impact the entire team.

Failing to hold others accountable is really an act of selfishness, not an act of kindness.  Why would we want to hold back information that would help one of our team mates grow and become stronger? Do the noble thing and serve one another by holding each other accountable.  You owe it to each other and those that you lead.

Blessings on your week!
BG