Why does team accountability matter? Accountability is the foundation for performance, and without performance, you will not see results. Team accountability directly impacts your team’s results… and you, as the leader, are ultimately responsible for the team’s results. You can’t force others to be accountable, but it is your job to create the right environment for accountability to thrive.
When thinking about the leader’s role in creating the right conditions for others to hold themselves accountable, think about leaders you have worked with in the past. Which ones brought out your best performance? Who was able to get the best results from the team? What were some of the things they did? When our team did this exercise, we came up with a detailed list of characteristics of a great leader (and behaviors) for Accountable Leaders:
Leadership Characteristics of a Great Manager:
- Model admirable behavior
- Care about people on the team
- Demonstrate empathy
- Believe in team members' potential
- Provide opportunities
- Have high expectations
- Provide encouragement
- Advise the team
- Provide safe environment
- Ask for input
- Mentor/coach often
- Can be vulnerable
On the flip side, when you think about leaders that did not get positive results from the team, what characteristics come to mind? Here are a few behaviors and traits to avoid as you work to build your accountable team:
Leadership Characteristics of a Bad Manager:
- Changing expectations
- Lack of trust
- Poor moral compass, lack integrity
- Negative attitude and comments
- Blame others
- Take credit for others’ work
- Don’t care about growth of team members
Here’s a recap of some Do’s and Don’ts for Accountable Leadership:
Download Infographic here.
What do you think your team would say if you asked them to do this exercise? Try it out - see what traits and characteristics they come up with for leaders who have brought out their best in the past. At the very least, it will be good food for thought as you consider how to build accountability and get the best performance and results you can out of your team. You may be a good leader now, but you can always improve by constantly working on the characteristics of a great leader. Your team accountability will improve and so will your team's performance!
Want more information on Team Accountability? Check out these additional resources:
The Power of Systems and People: Accountable Leaders and Teams leadership development program to improve team performance.
Take Our Team Accountability Assessment to see how your team stacks up.
Learn more about accountable leaders and teams.
Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images