Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for November, 2016

Leaders—Explore your role relating to accountability

There’s a delicate balance between encouraging people to feel free to explore, own, and implement their own strategies, and understanding when there’s a need to set specific requirements relating to necessary deliverables. One of the most significant factors for leaders in balancing these two approaches is identifying the leadership style needed based on the levels of competence, experience, and capabilities of the people they lead.

Failing to clearly communicate and require specific expectations around roles and responsibilities — within an agreed upon timeframe — can easily lead to significant performance issues, and disappointment. This is a common and consistent missing link to desired and successful outcomes — as is the absence of any clearly stated consequences if the person is unable to deliver within that time frame.

As leaders, when we’re strategizing our role in successful outcomes, or we’re up against a performance issue with direct reports, we must ask ourselves:

• Have I been clear about the non-arguable expectations and deliverables?

• Have I set specific target dates to review required progress toward the objectives?

• Have I clearly stated the business impact and consequences (i.e., shift in their role, adjustment to compensation, termination) if the employee is not able, or equipped, to meet the expectations or objectives within stated time frames?

• Have I followed up frequently enough to ensure that they’re having successes, and am I aware of their specific challenges so that they’re getting the support and coaching they need to be successful?

Of course your direct reports also have a responsibility to ask you for clarity relating to their role and responsibilities. Yet, the simple, yet loaded, question remains: As a leader, when dealing with a performance challenge of unmet deliverables, have you stated the end-goal as a request or a requirement?

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(This content, written by Donna Rawady, was originally published in Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, October 24, 2016—Titled: “Leaders, explore your role with accountability”)