My recent blog post on accountability touched a nerve. I had at least half a dozen people sheepishly ask whether I had been talking about them and their company. Interestingly, everyone who contacted me is what I consider to be a high performance manager. In other words, it was the best people that were the most sensitive to the issue of accountability and most concerned about whether they and their teams measured up.
Why would individuals that consistently deliver the goods and inspire others to do the same, be most concerned? It’s because good leaders are introspective – they constantly worry about having a blind spot. They know that the best way to lead is by example and that their behaviour is on display at all times. Their staff watches them closely for cues on how to act – and they want to ensure that they are living up to their own high expectations. No wonder good leaders are sensitive – it’s an enormous responsibility!
Whether we’re talking about accountability, customer-focus or teamwork, if a leader isn’t “walking the talk”, they won’t get the desired results from their organization. This doesn’t just apply to the CEO, by the way. We all provide leadership to our staff and colleagues in one way or another so we must all monitor our behaviour to ensure that it is exemplary. It takes real discipline.
So, if you were squirming a little after reading my last blog post, it’s a good sign. I probably wasn’t talking about you, but there’s no harm wondering. . .