Embracing Accountability

As outlined in this month’s newsletter, I will expand on “The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team” model by Patrick Lencioni in my blog. The first three behaviors were covered in previous blog entries (Trust, Conflict and Commitment). I will now cover the fourth one, “Embracing Accountability.”\r\n\r\nMembers of effective teams hold one another accountable, rather than relying on the leader. Asking the leader to be the primary source of accountability is inefficient and breeds politics. It is far more effective when team members go directly to one another and give frank, honest feedback.\r\n\r\nTeams that do not hold one another accountable:\r\n• Create resentment among team members who have different standards of performance\r\n• Encourage mediocrity\r\n• Miss deadlines and key deliverables\r\n• Place an undue burden on the team leader as the sole source of discipline\r\n\r\nWhen it comes to teamwork, accountability is the willingness of team members to remind one another when they are not living up to agreed-on performance standards. Direct, peer-to-peer accountability is based on the notion that peer pressure and the aversion to letting down colleagues will motivate team players more than any fear of authoritative punishment.\r\n\r\nThe key to making accountability part of a team’s culture is the willingness of the team leader to model the behavior by stepping into the middle of a difficult situation and reminding individual team members of their responsibilities, both in terms of behavior and results. Accountability starts with the leader. Although the leader should not be the primary source of accountability, he or she should be the ultimate source.\r\n\r\nNext Monday I will cover the fifth behavior: Delivering Collective Results. Stay tuned!\r\n\r\nPercy M. Cannon\r\n\r\ncoaching\r\n\r\nwww.cannon.consulting

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