“The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: he stood under the arch.”-Michael Armstrong
Employees want to be held accountable!
Keeping employees accountable for their responsibilities, assignments, goals, promises, etc. is a critical success factor. As leader, you too need to remain accountable to your word and promises. Without accountability, a culture of excuses takes over an entire organization – it is a deadly cancer.
Too many leaders do not hold their people accountable for reaching established goals or performance standards. Such lack of accountability is one of the deadly business mistakes.
What’s currently happening in most small businesses?
Meetings are held, issues are discussed, solutions are proposed, and goals are set. Unfortunately, the story usually ends there. Implementation is weak at best. Follow-up is missing. Follow through is missing. Accountability is missing. Ideas, strategies, and tactics never get off the ground. Many promises fall through the cracks. What a waste of time and talent.
Why does this mistake happen?
Because many owners are not truly functioning as leaders. They are not monitoring progress on goals. They are often too busy in the details of the business to focus on the performance of others or the overall performance of the company.
Moreover, too many business owners try to be liked instead of respected. Holding people accountable can be confrontational at times. Many owners avoid tension, conflict, and on-going performance reviews. Such avoidance is dangerous to your business and the development of their employees. Business owners can’t be everyone’s buddy. As a leader, you need to be respected, not necessarily liked. Above all else, you are their boss and a challenging coach that demands the best of each player.
Your leadership and other strengths are not worth much if you are not able to achieve leverage and results through other people. Keep reminding yourself and your management team that the greatest assets of your business are your people!