There is no “right” way to lead, everyone has their own ideas and beliefs about leadership.There are however, certain traits that are undeniable traits of leaders. Accountability being one of them and breeding an accountable staff is critical to growing leaders. At Strong College Students everyone is in a leadership position. Everyone has tasks that they are accountable for and a breakdown in accountability can be devastating.
An accountable leader knows two things. One, they need a clear expectation set and two, they know any given task will require their full responsibility.
Setting a clear goal states exactly what will get done and when it will be complete. Clarity is power, especially when leading, which is why accountable leaders need a deadline. In many settings, ambiguous terms get tossed around and managers don’t realize how certain words or phrases can be interpreted differently depending on the individual.
The “end of the week,” “best” or even “completed” can be interpreted very differently. Is the end of the week friday? Is it the best I can do today, with my current resources? Is complete just mean written up in my computer, or formatted properly and ready to be presented to investors? A small communication can lead to big time confusion and most companies and especially startups can’t afford to be making such mistakes where anyone could be their demise. Set a clearly defined finish line so everyone is on the same page eliminating any confusion.
When someone takes responsibility for a task, many other things happen simultaneously. You become empowered, you officially become the leader, your mindset even changes. You think more competitively as you now know it’s personal, you’re reputation is on the line and you want to impress!. Every time anyone takes responsibility for a task you are taking on an opportunity. An opportunity to show people what you can do, how you can lead, how competently you are at that specific task and so on. You stop looking outward for answers and start looking at what YOU can do to solve current problems. The empowerment that this leads to is when your natural leadership juices really start flowing.
From a managerial perspective you learn a lot about your workers when they are given full responsibility for a task. Can they handle it? How well did they handle it? You will find that some may need to take a slower approach and some may be ready to take on even more responsibility because they knocked that out of the park. Either way that is how leaders are crafted, through learning from experience gained by completing tasks in real time.
Living Through Accountability
At Strong College Students we empower all of our staff to lead each day. The crew is in complete control of satisfying a customer’s needs that day as well as being responsible for all of their equipment, inventory, even down to the truck they drive. They have full responsibility and know the common goal, to graduate our customers to an enjoyable, memorable and fun moving experience!
Accountability is contagious. Once one person starts taking responsibility everyone starts following, the effect is quickly compounded. Everyone is accountable for something at their job whether you are conscious of it or not. If you want to see changes around your workplace or in your life start setting clear deadlines for yourself and take responsibility. Then make sure you let people know about it! When you let others know this gives you added strength. Others will stand behind you and will hold you accountable when you get weak or tired. They will pull you through when times get tough.
An accountable worker sets an example and is a leader no matter what. People are drawn to the courage and will begin to look to you to solve problems. This is how leaders are bred. You want to lead or make a difference? Hold yourself accountable and set an example. As an example is set and the rest of your staff sees the expectation a standard is understood and a culture is born.
Article inspired HERE