What happens when accountability isn't balanced

By Alex Tuillio, CEO
on September 9. 2019
Yes, accountability is a key part of a high-performance culture. But too much of it ISN'T a good thing.
Now, the word "accountability" is used heaps, right? And it is important. It correlates to higher performance, boosted morale and greater employee satisfaction. That's why there's all this hype around making sure people take ownership of their work and accepting their share of responsibilities.

Here's the thing though - accountability by itself is not enough to bring in sustainable success. And if you're too focused on creating a culture where accountability trumps everything else, then you might actually end up with a bunch of staff who are not taking the initiative or stepping up to do what's best for the business.
Avoid this leadership mistake
In my experience working with lots of business owners and managers, leaders often go wrong because they fail to achieve a balance of accountability and freedom in the workplace culture. They repeat their demands for accountability constantly to staff, as if stating it over and over will magically produce the results they want.

Now, let's talk about this further.
You've got to BALANCE the equation
Remember, you need the equation of freedom and accountability to balance if you're to create a genuine high-performance culture. Getting people to take ownership is critical, but so is giving your team some freedom to innovate. The thing about being too focused on accountability is that it leads to micromanaging. And what happens when you micromanage? You'll limit innovation, kill off creativity and ultimately, limit results.

So let your team come up with their own solutions and encourage them to problem solve along the way! Give them space to innovate and trust me on this - they'll feel so much more invested in the business because of it.

But of course, it's all about balance. And balance comes in because even if you've got a great culture of innovation and your team feels empowered, without accountability, you won't get any tangible results. You'll have happy staff though.
Getting people to take ownership is critical, but so is giving your team some freedom to innovate.
Tips for a culture that promotes both accountability and freedom
Start with clarity of vision. I go on about this but it is so fundamental here because your vision allows you to set expectations as a leader, and articulate what you want to see from your team, as well as the role they play in getting to the endpoint of your vision.

As I've said so many times before, you really can't over-communicate. So another tip is to make sure you have conversations with your team constantly. Don't forget to check-in with them to make sure they know what they're responsible for, and their individual roles in making the shared vision a reality.

Having clearly defined goals fosters accountability and sets appropriate boundaries for creative experimentation. So my third tip is for you to have answers for these questions: What is your definition of success? What does it look like? What are the non-negotiables around delivering?
Having clearly defined goals fosters accountability and sets appropriate boundaries for creative experimentation.
Remember, if you have the right team and allow them the freedom to innovate, they'll step up a gear and take ownership, and understand that they're accountable for the result. They'll feel motivated and be really engaged in the process - a WIN-WIN situation! But it all starts with YOU having a clear vision and promoting an environment with the right balance between freedom and accountability.

Remember, great leaders don't know everything, but they keep on learning. So if you want to keep improving and become the BEST at what you do, then jump onto https://trampolineplatform.com/hpl today! My High-Performance Leadership app is designed to bring out your best. Developed based on proven, world-leading coaching techniques, it's like having a mentor on call. So try it!

If you're interested in finding out more, drop me a line or comment below!

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