Eight steps to accountability

Everyone on your team needs to win, and as the leader, it is up to you to make that happen.


Our role as leaders is to make sure that every person in the team wins – that they consider themselves a winner. Winning is when we meet our promises (KPIs), when we break through our critical number, when we experience the joy of achievement.


Here are some steps to help set people up to be winners.


Step 1
Make sure that we have our top three critical objectives articulated and owned. This is the significant few, not the important many. (So much of what we do is important but what is really critical?) The critical objectives must be clear, concise, measurable and obtainable. (It does not mean easy.)


Step 2
Every person must have their promises that align to our businesses objectives. When you put everybody’s promises together, they will make up achieving the critical objective. (The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.)


Step 3
Make sure that you ask each of your team members what it is that they need to win. It is our job as leaders to remove any stop points that get in the way of people achieving their promises. Ask what are the three things you need to do to achieve each of your promises. (They must be in writing). The promises and the steps to achieve them.


Step 4
Agree on what you will do to help them ‘win’. As part of meeting with them in your regular one-on-ones, keep clarifying where are they stopped, and who is accountable to the stop point. As leaders we are accountable to people, not for them. It is up to us to help them get what they need to win.


Step 5
It is a game – games are about rules and score cards. The good thing is that everybody in the game can be a winner. So make sure the score cards are loud and proud. Follow up. Every month in preparation for board presentations, make sure each person has their results clearly represented – bar charts are good. Green for ahead, red for behind where they expected to be.


Step 6
Share what is working, the lessons learnt. Gather everyone in your team together once a trimester to discuss and identify what really is a critical road block. Make specific offers of how you will assist.


Step 7
Celebrate winning. Recognition is so important. Noticing people’s contribution is paramount. Our rewards must be visible, so that people can see them.


Step 8
Have fun! If we as leaders are having fun then everyone will. We cannot take the game too seriously. Everyone needs to be a winner and accountable – and then it will all turn out.


One person needs to be accountable for each game – if everybody is responsible nothing ever gets done.


Thanks to Bob Prosen, author of “Kiss the Theory Goodbye”, for assisting with his insights.




The founder and CEO (Chief Experiences Officer) of RedBalloon Days, Naomi is passionate about pleasure! Backed by enthusiasm, energy and drive and recently named one of Australia’s best bosses (Australia’s Marketing Employer of Choice), the Entrepreneurs Organisation (Sydney Chapter) President 200708 and mother of two, Naomi also inspires others as a regular speaker, writes a blog and has recently completed her first book.


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