What’s More Important – Accountability, Self-Confidence or Courage?
Part 3 of our 4-part series on the pillars of leadership – the characteristics of the Elegant Leader that drive Voltage. We’re now on the Responsibility side of the scale where accountability, self-confidence and courage reside. Today, we’re discussing accountability, because as social animals, we’re not accountable to ourselves. Elegant Leaders understand we must have rhythm between our egos, our relationships and our organization’s results. The success required to have impact and influence within the organization is largely based upon our behaviors, habits and the perceptions of others towards us as the leader. Picture if you will a scale with respect on one side and responibility on the other underpinned with the foundation of integrity. Empathy, humility, mastery and transparency define the respect side of the scale of leadership character. These are black-and-white elements and the Elegant Leader’s own character development and these behaviors allow us to demonstrate these three key steps:
- We are comfortable in the grey,
- We are clear concise and compelling in their messaging, and
- We understand the value of high influence relationships to deliver high impact results
Why is accountability so difficult for us as individuals and as leaders? We’re responsible for and with each other. Yet, when it comes to our own accountability, we find it the less resistant path to find an excuse “not to.” Sometimes we’re good at accountability and sometimes we’re not. Take going to the gym for instance. It’s far easier to leave work and go home when it’s raining. It’s far easier to go the local piano bar for a cocktail, because it’s on the way home than to go to the gym. However, when you have a gym buddy who checks in on you, you don’t want to let them down so you meet up at the gym. If you’re at the gym and not feeling your best, you’ll do some or most of your routine, but you’ll come up with some rationalization – that makes perfect sense to you at the moment – for not doing something.
Read Part I on Transparency here
It’s much easier to be accountable to each other, because we both have “skin in the game.” We’re both fully invested in each other’s success that we won’t let the other one down. Who’s your accountability partner?Who’s your best accountability partner? For some of us, it’s those people who believe in us wholeheartedly. They want to see you succeed. They leave you alone and let you go, but they won’t let you go too far off the path before they step in and check up on you. You don’t want to let them down and you don’t want to violate the trust that’s established between you too, either. The people who believe in you, who take a risk on you, you feel a sense of duty, a sense of responsibility to ensure you hold up your end of the relationship.
Read Part 2 on Empathy here
We’ve mentioned many times, the formula for successful Elegant Leadership is, the rhythm between egos, results and relationships. It’s all about the people in your life, both professionally and personally. They don’t believe in what you do initially. They believe in why you do what you do – that’s what draws them to you as the leader. It’s not your magnanimous, charismatic personality – sure that energy may draw them – it’s your belief and actions that keep them there. You, yourself, believe what you believe and you model it everyday.
The quality of an organization’s leadership has a dramatic impact on company performance. Relationships ARE the most important thing. Without them we cannot create environment’s for leadership success. There’s a new definition of leadership, an Elegant Leader, one who leads with Voltage; who demonstrates what intentionally influencing people one-at-a-time means. As the leader, you must first be accountable to them before they can be accountable to you.
What’s one action you can comfortably hold yourself accountable for today?
What will you commit to today you can be held accountable for?
If you’re not held accountable, what do you think your outcome will be?
Let’s take technology as a simple example. Do you carry your phone into meetings? Do you check it regulaly during the meeting? How about at the dinner table with family? with other business people? Do you leave your phone at your bed stand at night? You’re always on! At some point, you’re going to have to own up to the fact you’re addicted to that lil’ black box. Deny it all you want and say, “I have to be connected 24/7 because of this or that global market.” Sure you do, and what can you do about it at 3am?
What else can you do to show you’re accountabile to your team? Setting the tone for the environment and the culture is critical if you want to move your organziation forward towards its goals and plans. One insight to share is to show how much you truly care for your people – trust, respect, listening and learning – are all simple easily accountable steps you can make for their success and yours. Supporting their goals and plans in their functional role, in their career and so on is another accountable step you can make as the Elegant Leader.
What is it costing you?
By not being accountable to yourself, to your team, your organization or even your family can cost you far more than hard costs and significant investment. It’s all about relationships, because we’re “doing things” through other people – don’t let the cost of human capital be the undermining failure when it’s the easiest investment you can make. If you want people to follow your lead, then you need to first be accountable to them.
Acquiring the behaviors and thought patterns of successful Elegant Leadership is what gives your life and leadership Voltage. Whatever endeavor your’re trying to acomplish, the human condition has tremendous potency and usablity provided you take one step forward on this journey of Leadership as a lifelong listener and learner. I’ve been systematically studying what leadership is and what leadership means for nearly three decades, and my mission is to evangelize a movement for global change in creating Elegant Leaders with Voltage who serve and lead and who are accountable to each other.
I help you inspire your people and your organizations to sustainable results by guiding you through the proces of being the best leader you can be – simply, powerfully and Elegantly. Let’s talk and see if we’re a good match to help you build an organization of people who believe what you believe. Call me 205-482-2177 or Click here to access my private calendar for a no obligation test drive.