Leadership is complex. There are countless books and decades of research on the topic, and you can work for a whole lifetime and never perfect the art of good leadership. While there is definitely no “easy button” for effective leadership, we do have some simple tools you can implement to improve your accountable leadership skills.
Accountable Leadership Template 1: Objective Statement
To: ________________________ (State what you are going to do)
In a Way that: (List how you are going to do it)
So that: ________________________ (State why you are doing this)
This template is the real work-horse in your toolkit; it’s a simple yet powerful tool. As a leader, you can use this for just about anything. Write an objective statement for your department. Before you launch any new projects or initiatives, write an objective statement. If you put together a cross-functional team, be sure to start with an objective statement. If you bring in an outside consultant or start a new meeting rhythm or need to re-vamp an internal process, use this tool.
Here’s an example of an Objective Statement for a Strategic Planning Session:
Writing and sharing Objective Statements helps you begin with the end in mind by clarifying the purpose and establishing clear expectations about how to go about doing the work. It helps communicate clearly the what, why and how, and it gives you something to anchor back to if needed during coaching conversations. You can pull it out and say, “We agreed to this objective statement at the beginning of this project. How are we doing?”
Accountable Leadership Template 2: Job Scorecard
Job Position: ___________________
Reports to: ____________________
Desired Results & KPIs:
Skills, Traits & Competencies:
Company Core Values:
This tool is essential for establishing role clarity. Leaders should create Job Scorecards for any positions prior to hiring, and each person on your team should have a Job Scorecard. This tool provides the gift of clear expectations. It enables the team to prioritize work effectively and take ownership of their success by clearly defining what success looks like for the role.
Here’s an example of a filled in Job Scorecard:
In addition to being a great tool for hiring the right fit for the position by clearly outlining the expectations and skills necessary, this tool is great for managing performance. As a leader, you need a baseline of shared expectations so you can have effective coaching conversations with your team members. Sharing the goals in a clear and straightforward manner and tracking progress toward those goals in a transparent way eliminates the potential for a team member to hide from poor performance. Plus, if your team members are succeeding, you have a mechanism to reward them for their success and plan for the future as the company grows and the role expectations evolve.
Accountable Leadership Template 3: Execution-Ready Priority
Priority Name (Include a Verb) _______________________
Start Date _____________________
End Date __________________
- SuperGreen (Stretch Goal): ______________
- Green (Success/Your Goal): ______________
- Yellow (Between Red and Green): ______________
- Red (Unacceptable Performance): _______________
Milestone Actions: (Who, What, When)
While the Job Scorecard provides role clarity, the Execution-Ready Priority template provides goal clarity. For any projects and initiatives your team sets out to achieve, you need to write the goal effectively in order to increase the likelihood of success. If you haven’t communicated the goal effectively, you run the risk of your team working hard on the wrong things.
Here’s an example of a filled in Execution-Ready Priority:
Focus on 3-5 priorities each quarter, and use this template to ensure the goals are clearly communicated and everyone understands what the goal is, who is accountable and by when, and what success and failure look like at the end. Again, if you track progress on this goal in a visible dashboard, your team can help hold each other accountable to keeping on track with execution. Everyone understands the work to be done and can coach each other to make adjustments during weekly meetings to get the work done. If you identify success clearly, everyone can celebrate together when the priority is achieved.
Use these 3 templates to grow your accountable leadership skills and see how your team’s accountability and performance improves as a result. If you’ve graduated from templates and want an enterprise platform built for accountability and performance, check out our Rhythm software solution.
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Learn more about accountable leaders and teams.
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