Holding others accountable, especially employees, is one of the biggest and most common issues leaders face. Why is it so hard to get people to do what you want or assess performance and address issues? Why is holding people responsible so uncomfortable? I believe the core issue is this: We associate accountability with punishment.
Borne from the traditional masculine authority figure dynamic, we anticipate or associate a penalty exacted for an offense. We see this throughout society in various forms. And although punishment is a form of accountability, it isn’t the type needed nor desired in business. It is neither relevant nor applicable. What we need and desire from those we lead is ownership, obligation, and investment in the outcome. We need proper accountability. So how do we nurture that desired environment of personal responsibility? To start, we must disassociate punishment from accountability.