Recently, I read a great article that I ended up sharing with the entire management team today. The article was from the Harvard Business Review and was entitled, "One Out of Every Two Managers Is Terrible at Accountability."
Some of the more salient points of the article included: the single most shirked responsibility of executives is holding people accountable; leaders routinely step back from the heat; managers are obsessed with managing their popularity; they try to avoid tough conversations; controversy and conflict in the workplace have been replaced with efforts not to offend; the younger workforce expect praise and recognition, but are not open to critical feedback or talking about employee weaknesses, only celebrating their strengths. Clearly, there is a delicate balance to making sure that there is an appropriate amount of recognition and celebration, but we have to do a better job as leaders in ensuring that expectations are met. We no longer have the luxury of allowing employees to get it right most or part of the time. We have to expect it all of the time; and if it doesn't happen, then we work to figure out how to achieve those pre-established expectations going forward. Accountability as a leadership behavior we be our Leadership Development focus for 2013. I'll let you know how we do in the coming months.