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Rhythm Blog | Accountable Leaders & Teams

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

The Link Between Communication & Organizational Accountability

Cathy McCullough Tue, Jun 25, 2019 @ 11:04 AM

Sometimes, you just have to slow down to speed up.

Communication Leads to Better Connectivity and Team Accountability

Communication is a very powerful thing, yet we talk about it so lightly. We toss the word ‘communication’ around as if it’s a catch-all for…everything. Yet, it is communication that aids us in the confirmation of the truth in certain scenarios and it is communication that provides clarity, definition, and intention to our words. The challenge with communication is that everyone’s communication truth can be taxing. Determining how to communicate to bring out individual truths (yours and your team’s) can be a powerful tool in developing higher levels of accountability and can lead to better connectivity throughout your organization. Knowing the people you’ll be speaking to and having an awareness around individual communication preferences is the most effective way to align individual and corporate truths.

10 Ways Top Level Executives Improve Company Culture (Infographic)

Paige Wilcox Tue, Jun 18, 2019 @ 11:02 AM

A strong company culture is not a nice to have—it's a need to have. Your company's culture touches every part of your business, so don't be fooled by thinking you can put off making changes until later—it's affecting your bottom line right now.

Improving your culture, the team accountability across your company, and your overall employee engagement starts at the top. So what are ways you can lead your team towards a better culture? Here are 10 of them:

A Vulnerable Culture is an Accountable Culture

Tiffany Chepul Thu, Jun 13, 2019 @ 11:02 AM

Vulnerability is the secret to fixing your Company’s accountability issues. 

It’s a bold statement, but after watching Brené Brown: A Call to Courage on Netflix this month, I’m convinced.

Many teams experience struggle with accountability. They experience a lack of follow through. They avoid difficult discussions. Their culture is full of finger-pointing and gossip. Expectations aren’t clear and there are no consequences. Numbers are missed and joy is absent from the work. The team becomes paralyzed and innovation stops.

Lessons From a Millennial: Work-Life Balance Tips

Liz McBride Fri, Jun 7, 2019 @ 02:20 PM

If you research “healthy work-life balance tips” (or frankly any hot topic), you’ll see a line item in there about the millennial's view point. On this subject, research shows that millennials highly value work-life balance, and some offer they need it the most yet struggle hardest to find it.

Do they really?

I am lucky to have a young millennial sister who is early in her bright career and whom I call upon to confirm or deny allegations concerning millennials and their unshakeable need to find work-life balance. I thought Natalie would say she doesn’t have it as she works full days in supply chain for a major trucking company while balancing a new marriage, new mortgage, and a fur baby can induce the need for stress management. That, and the experts say she’s struggling to find it.

I, on the other hand, have been lucky to work in various ways through different life cycles of my career balanced with raising three boys. I have had the long commutes, heavy travel and virtual work in several time zones - or a mixture of any and all, depending on the week. I can play the role of the wise older, GenX sister and explain how there’s no such thing as work-life balance - there’s just balance. When I am working, I need to be tunnel-vision and work. When I am home, I need to put the phone down and listen to my boys tell me their school project they’ve known about for three weeks is due tomorrow, and they need imported materials. Something like that.

Why You Can't Miss the 2019 Breakthrough Conference

Jessica Wishart Thu, Jun 6, 2019 @ 11:04 AM

"Spectacular keynote speeches, incredibly, relevant, informative breakout sessions. Thank you!"

“Loved the human element of business that these sessions brought to the conference”

“Very powerful speakers on Breakthroughs… keep it up!”

“Just kudos. I really enjoyed the speakers. Great insights!”

"The registration/check in process was fantastic! Easiest and friendliest group of people. Thank you!”

The secret’s out - our attendees love our Breakthrough Conference. We have some clients who have attended and brought their teams every single year. Want to know what you’ve been missing? 

Push and Pull: Mastering the Characteristics of Great Leadership

Jessica Wishart Tue, Jun 4, 2019 @ 11:27 AM

"Ultimately, leadership is the ability to thrive in the ambiguity of paradoxes and opposites.” - Brené Brown, Dare to Lead

I have a yoga teacher who likes to emphasize the apparent contradictions in poses. She’ll say things that sound impossible like, “Ground down and reach for the sky.” How can you be both grounded and reaching? Pulling up and pushing down at the same time sounds like nonsense, but when I listen to her cues and actually try to push with my legs and lift with my arms, I feel a huge difference - I create new space in the pose. It turns out breathing into these paradoxes is important in leadership, too.

Quick Tips for Building Accountability

Cathy McCullough Fri, May 31, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Holding people accountable can be a chore for most leaders building an accountability culture. For a multitude of reasons, it’s simply not comfortable for most people. It’s great when people step up and take personal accountability. It makes your job so much easier! But, when you have people who just don’t hold themselves accountable and accept responsibility for their actions and instead play the blame game, then you have a much more difficult scenario.  

5 Insights You'll Gain From Executive Coaching

Cathy McCullough Fri, May 31, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

The famous mountain climber, Phil Powers, said it best during an interview on NPR’s "This I Believe” segment: “Concentrating on how I move through the world is important. It’s why I reach mountain summits and life goals with energy to spare.”

As a best practice, Powers uses a concept taught to him by his mentor, Paul Petzoldt. Penzoldt recommended a ‘rest’ (i.e., a slight pause) with each climbing step taken. It allows a climber to move swiftly, yet still find a brief pause in every step. The cadence of this sequence creates, in the end, a higher degree of forward-movement with what seems like less effort.

Most leaders dive into leadership without a second thought. I love the optimism that comes when people find themselves suddenly leading people (vs. tasks and initiatives they’ve been responsible for completing). The problem, though, is that most leaders simply don’t see the impact their leadership approach has on those around them (positive or negative). They don’t pause while climbing the mountain of business objectives for a rest step. They don’t give themselves quick moments of pause that allow for slowing just enough to gain the energy to keep moving forward.

Couple this lack of ‘pause’ with how fast everything moves in today’s world. Every motion, every thought, every piece of information we gain in a 24/7 world makes the concept of ‘pause’ seem ridiculous. It can even make us feel unworthy, lost, and unproductive and some senior leaders aren't wired to slow down to speed up.  Senior leaders learning to skill to stop to think and focus on long term strategy is a huge part of their leadership development.  Executive coaching, and the coaching relationship, is a good way to hold yourself accountable to developing these new habits.

4 Steps to A Great Skip-Level Meeting and 17 Questions to Ask (Updated for 2019)

Ted Skinner Fri, May 31, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

What is a skip-level meeting?

As defined in an article by Jared Lewis, "In a skip-level meeting, upper-level management bypasses mid-level management to talk directly to non-managerial employees. Although there's not typically a special position known as a 'skip-level manager,' senior managers conducting these types of meetings are considered skip-level managers."  The manager meets with employees to try to better understand their team members, build trust in the organization and get a better sense of the work environment challenges facing your front line employees.  Skip level meetings for employees are just as important as they are for managers, and both should be well prepared prior to the "skip meeting."

The Five C's of Leadership and Team Accountability (Updated for 2019)

Cathy McCullough Fri, May 31, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

From a leadership perspective, there’s a real thirst for increasing leadership accountability. Executives have recently asked me various questions that linger over the concept of building team accountability to help them achieve their strategic plans while creating high performing teams:

“How do I build accountability in teams?

What else can I do to get people to do what we need them to do?”

“How can I hold a team member to be held accountable and still be seen as a good leader?”

"How do I balance leadership accountability and personal accountability when building a team?"

Building team accountability requires that we understand a few dynamics because it’s more complicated than we might recognize.  It goes above and beyond the responsibility for the outcomes, which is obviously important, but effective leaders know that they need a culture of accountability in their teams that provide the inputs needed to achieve the expected team performance.