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But….I Told Them To Do It

But….I Told Them To Do It

By: Ross Paterson

We have been wrestling with the elusive topic of ACCOUNTABILITY with several business leaders this week. We know we need it, and though it is easy to talk about WHAT, it is very difficult to execute HOW. Accountability is a complex human interaction that takes time and effort to master.


XM Truth #1: Accountability is impossible without clarity. Simple job descriptions, effective meeting routines, competent feedback are all essential to making accountability work. Most leaders haven’t done this baseline work, so the process feels like conflict.


What if we redefined accountability? It’s simply a follow-up conversation about results we already agreed our team would get done. That doesn’t sound like a high conflict process, and it doesn’t have to be.


XM Truth #2: Telling is not leading. Teach them how to break down a larger objective into a plan. Then, set hard calendar meetings for midpoint check-ups, and use these sessions to coach, ask questions, listen, and encourage.


Remember leaders, it is our responsibility to provide INSPIRED ACCOUNTABILITY. If our direct reports don’t meet their objectives, we don’t meet ours. Even if we ‘told them to do it.’