In most instances, our society tends to use the term accountability to determine who we punish when something has gone wrong. As leaders who are growing are people who, in turn grow our organizations, let’s try a different approach to accountability. Let’s “front-load” accountability.

Here is what I mean. When you front-load accountability, you include specificity in your commitment. We don’t simply say, “I expect you to do a good job.” When we front-load, we clarify precisely what we want to be done, what success looks like, and why this is important. There is no ambiguity to the expectation.

In an accountability culture, people take ownership of what is expected of them. They feel responsible for their team members and the entire organization. In other words, accountability in your organization means doing what you said you would do, as you said you would do it. That is the minimum acceptable performance level for our team members.”It’s how things are done around here,” — this is our standard.

To summarize, when we front-load accountability, here is what will happen:

  • Performance increases (people take ownership—it is how things are done here)
  • Results improve—increased revenues and profitability
  • Relationships will be strengthened (team members can count on each other)
  • Accountability is a positive term describing commitments
  • Front-loading fosters the mindset “How am I doing?” -welcoming open and honest feedback.

The bottom line is that when we have an accountability culture, everyone holds each other accountable for their commitments positively and productively. Now you have victory.