Leaders need accountability

One of the key things I have learned in 25 years of leadership is this: accountability is not just a good idea, it’s an absolute must.

I know I’m in danger of repeating myself but when you’re young you really don’t see the need for accountability. It’s such a boring sounding word. I don’t need ‘wisdom’ from someone older, I don’t want to be asked ‘how am I doing?’ No one can tell me anything and certainly not teach me anything. I will just learn from my own mistakes and so be it.

You can be right in your own mind if you want but that doesn’t make you a good leader. Don’t be so arrogant. It’s not an attractive quality. Leaders who don’t look for and welcome some form of accountability are setting themselves up to fail as leaders.

I am totally convinced that I would not have survived in leadership if it hadn’t been for the voice of reason, the voice of responsibility and the voice of right-thinking.

The voice of reason asks me the right questions.
Why are you doing this?
If you keep behaving like this where will it lead?
How can you do things differently to get a better result?
The big ‘what if’ type questions

The voice of responsibility keeps me safe within the right kind of boundaries.
To not listen to others who have gone before is a great display of ignorance. Ignorant people think they don’t need any boundaries which only leads to a whole bunch of issues that could have been avoided – lack of clarity, lack of engagement and focus, confusion, demotivation of the team, lack of identity, a breakdown in trust which all lead to a loss of respect for the leader. I think I’ve caused a lot of them over the last 25 years just because I chose not to be attentive to what my leaders were saying.

The voice of right-thinking helps me grow in wisdom.
It’s not about listening to every voice but considering what the right people have to say. Their mistakes are often their best wisdom. I know that works for me now as a leader when I’m thinking of what to pass on to others.

I am absolutely certain that these voices have impacted and benefited me in at least 3 areas of my leadership…
my behaviour – the type of leader I have become
my growth – the fact I am still in leadership all these years later
my aptitude – the skills I have as a leader

How about you? How has accountability influenced your leadership for the better?

One thought on “Leaders and Accountability

  1. I find this absolutely essential and know that it’s only been through accountability that I’ve been able to develop as a leader. They see things you don’t, your blind spots & finding a loving encouraging leader who is further ahead in the journey than you I just find is invaluable! Sometimes it’s painful. Exposing your weaknesses always is. But I really think it’s critical to healthy growth 🙂

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