Responsibility and Accountability – Getting Real Results

Written by Lynn Bennett on .

It is said that responsibility is given, while accountability is taken. One can be given a responsibility, but one must then be held, by herself and others, accountable for the outcome or result of their action, and/or completion of that task or job. What I have found in working with many leaders is that they fail to break down responsibility and accountability enough for others. We hear many times, “We are responsible for this and this.” We hear about shared responsibility and accountability. What this does, though, is increase confusion around who is making the commitment and what that commitment actually means. If we are not specific about where responsibility resides, and if we don’t hold people accountable after the fact, we increase the risk of never getting on with execution. We create a strategy or plan but do not fully implement and realize the benefits of any sustainable changes. And further we fail to build our record of success and our credibility.

Calibrating responsibility and accountability is about getting to ‘the promise’; it is about people understanding their commitments and delivering on them. If something does start to go sideways, it is about those responsible taking action to bring it back into balance or informing others that they require something to change for them to contribute and stand in their commitment. It is about negotiating, and if necessary renegotiating commitments, early as opposed to late in order to sustain personal credibility.

6 Situations That Will Benefit from Leadership Development

Written by Lynn Bennett on .

Henry Mintzberg, Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University, states, “Management is the practice that has to blend a good deal of craft (experience) with a certain amount of art (insight) and some science (analysis)… We need balanced, dedicated people who practice a style of managing that can be called ‘engaging.’ Such people believe that their purpose is to leave behind strong organizations, not just higher share prices.”  Today’s best leaders want to live their legacy, not just leave it behind, and in order to do so they need development opportunities which help them and their teams to explore both the ‘doing’ and  the ‘being’ of leadership.

Here are just a handful of the situations in which leadership development can be tremendously beneficial:

1.  When a leader is new to the position or role. Nothing like starting off on the right foot! Leaders in transition will learn the fundamentals they need for success.

2.  When a leader is at any stage of their career. Leaders at all levels can benefit from an infusion of new thinking, energy and motivation and from honing or developing their interpersonal skills, e.g.: personal styles, emotional intelligence. This is an area that has traditionally been thought too “soft” and there is a real need for higher levels of self-awareness, self-development and self-management.

3.  When a leader and his/her team must embrace and implement regulations and legislation surrounding bullying, harassment, discrimination, and psychological abuse and resolve complaints related to these conflicts.

4.  When a leader is running on empty; by learning to manage their personal energy, not their time, they can begin to engage more fully and perform more effectively.

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