Team Accountability: The Missing Link

By Jessica Wishart

team accountability

dateSun, Mar 21, 2021 @ 11:04 AM

Why don’t they just do what they are supposed to do?team accountability

How is it possible that my people keep letting me down?

I wish they would just hold themselves accountable!

As a leader, it can be tempting to place the blame on “them” - your team - when they have missed goals, failed to deliver successfully on a project, or dropped the ball with a key deliverable or customer. However, you are responsible for creating the conditions required for team accountability to thrive. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have a people or performance issue with your team. It may very well be them! But, before you can look at your people, you have to look at yourself and evaluate your role as the leader.

Think about the last time someone on your team didn’t deliver expected results, made a mistake or dropped the ball. Did you do everything you could have done in that situation to set the person up for success?

Think about the following 5 key questions:

  1. Did you create common purpose? Did the person understand why the project or goal was important and its impact on them personally and on the company as a whole?
  2. Did you establish clear expectations? Did you work to help the person understand what success looked like and what failure would be? Did the person know the due date, the budget, the boundaries and parameters, the available resources, etc.?
  3. Did you communicate effectively? Did you ensure that your message about purpose and expectations was not only shared but also received by the person? Did you verify his or her understanding?
  4. Did you coach and collaborate along the way? Did you provide timely feedback throughout the course of the project? Did you work together on solutions or have difficult conversations when they were needed?
  5. Did you apply consequences? Did you clarify up front what those consequences would be - positive or negative? Did you enforce consequences consistently?

Often, the missing link in team accountability can be traced right back to the leader. The good news? If you follow these 5 C’s of Leadership Accountability, you will create the conditions for your team to hold themselves and each other accountable.


New call-to-action


Want more information on Team Accountability? Check out these additional resources:

The Five C's of Team Accountability

Take Our Team Accountability Assessment to see how your team stacks up.

Team Accountability Begins with Personal Accountability

Building Team Accountability: Job Scorecards

10 Signs of an Accountable Culture [Infographic]

Growing Accountability in Your Organization

Quick Tips for Building Accountability

5 Steps to Having an Accountability Discussion [Video]

Learn more about accountable leaders and teams. 

Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images

Jessica Wishart


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images