Accountability – an underestimated (leadership) quality

Have you ever been part of a team or project that worked like a well-oiled machine? Where everything ran more or less without a hitch? Where nobody simply dropped the ball and said “That’s not my job”. If that’s something you’ve experienced, it’s probably because of the great attitude shown by everyone involved – in other words, their accountability (i.e. taking responsibility for the common aim of the company).
If everyone embraces accountability, you will experience a form of leadership where everybody treats one another as equals. It’s a source of strength, not only in organisations with a definite hierarchy but also, and in particular, in cross-functional teams. Accountability means more than just taking responsibility for your own duties. Rather, it reflects a fundamental attitude – specifically, being committed to a project or goal instead of simply going through the motions at work. People who can be relied on in this way will fulfil their commitments and keep their promises. They will look out for themselves and their teams, employees or colleagues. If this kind of responsibility is lacking in a company, particularly amongst managers, the whole organisation will suffer.

How can you spot a lack of accountability?

  • People distancing themselves from projects and results
  • People saying “That’s not my responsibility” and refusing to get involved
  • Blaming and shaming
  • Possibly below-average performances
  • People failing to consider issues outside their own remit

How can I encourage accountability?

Whether we’re a manager, a project lead or a fellow team member, we’re all responsible for making our work environment conducive to producing successful results. This means being mindful of oneself and other people. It means knowing what we and other people need in order to achieve the company’s objectives. Showing responsibility means actively embracing leadership regardless of our position in the hierarchy. We can help you foster accountability. To make your company successful.
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