CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY WITHOUT HAVING TO ‘TIGHTEN THE REINS’

This past year I was approached by a CEO who needed to improve accountability within his firm.

To do that, he told me he wanted someone to be a tough, hard-charging manager. Someone who would — in his words — “tighten the reins.” 

“I can’t do that for you,” I said. “But I can get you accountability.” He didn’t understand that EOS® enables accountability in a much different way.

Tough Management Doesn’t Equal Accountability

Being that the business was filled with a number of tough-minded employees (the business was located in America’s “Rust Belt”), the CEO thought the only way to get through to them was through a hard-knocks approach. 

He wanted to provide hardcore, strict management to get people to do what he needed to get done. To get accountability, he believed that a punishment system was the best course of action.

What I have experienced with tough management is that you certainly get immediate results. However, the results are fleeting. 

That’s why EOS takes a different approach. EOS helps leadership teams develop accountability by creating a culture of leadership and management that engenders responsibility. Accountability is an outcome, a by-product of great leadership and management.

Leadership + Management = Accountability

Leadership

The act of being a good leader is providing a compelling vision and a clear direction. The vision is where you are going, an exciting place that seems just outside the grasp of getting there, yet intriguing enough to work hard to get there. Vision is about inspiring your people.

Management

Management is the day-to-day act of communicating, setting clear expectations, and execution.

Accountability 

Accountability is a bi-product of doing leadership and management well. It results when the vision is clear, priorities are clear, and expectations are clear. Add this to active management that entails putting processes in place, ensuring everyone’s roles are defined, and a discipline to execute is in place.

Accountability… the EOS Way

The CEO was excited to get started. 

He and his leadership team created an Accountability Chart, aligning it with how they get clients and serve those clients. I helped them get clear on what each person needed to get done in their role. This was the first time the leadership team articulated in no uncertain terms exactly what they expected from each individual, and this resulted in clear expectations. 

After that, the team set Rocks (these are the priorities for the company). Each individual was tasked with helping the company reach its goals by working to support one of the company’s Rocks. By now, the company was clear on its priorities and how it aligned with their annual goals. 

At the start of the year, they thought a 27% growth rate was a push and achievable. In the past two years, they had not accomplished their growth projections. This past year they handily beat their 27% growth target because they set clear expectations and aligned everyone’s efforts to the priorities for the company. 

One year in, the CEO now sees how better leadership and management equals accountability. Already, the company has realized a return many times over its investment in EOS.

Instead of “tightening the reins” to create better accountability, try using leadership plus management. Not only is it good business, but it will get you the accountability you’ve been looking for without the hard knocks. 

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Written by Jamie Cornehlsen

This post originally appeared on the EOS Worldwide Blog.