Mirror Time: Leadership Accountability and Leading By Example

#eosworldwide accountability efficiencyinbusiness employee morale entrepreneurship leadership leadingbyexample personalaccountability process processadoption processdocumentation smallbusiness smb Oct 25, 2023
Leaders. Look in Mirror. Accountability.

In our fast-paced entrepreneurial world, leadership accountability is crucial for success. One vital aspect of this is the art of leading by example. We can have all of the rational understanding of what needs to happen to run our businesses successfully, but when leaders demonstrate accountability for their own actions and decisions, they send a powerful message for others to follow.

In fact, we would be pretty hypocritical to expect our team to take actions that we ourselves aren't willing to execute. In short, do we walk the talk?

The Price of Our Own Inconsistency

Our own inconsistency can exact a hefty price in our businesses. That adage of "do as I say, not as I do" doesn't cut it and in fact, undermines accountability in our businesses. We've all encountered situations where leaders talk the talk but fail to walk the walk.

Take Turtle, Inc. for instance. The sales-focused founder preached the importance of following the business' sales and client onboarding processes. However, when the rubber meets the road, she occasionally bypasses these processes to secure a sale. She skips asking the proven qualifying questions and doesn't fully explore the prospective client's intended use of the product. While securing the quick win, her isolated and impromptu decisions disrupt the production line and result in product defects. Beyond the costly short-term consequences, the discrepancy between words and actions takes a toll on employee morale and operational efficiency.

Mirror Time

Now, let's zoom in on, uh, you. Actually, let's start with me. I have been in the middle of busy EOS® Annual Planning sessions with my clients. In my head, I'm so excited to help my teams set their goals for the new year! Here's my confession: because I have had back-to-back sessions each day, I have not left any time for the weekly Level 10 Meeting with my team. After 2 weeks of missing this crucial meeting, the breakdown in our processes and communication became evident. Earlier this week, I spent time apologizing and recalibrating so that I prioritize my team and follow our processes in the future. How about you? As an entrepreneurial leader, you are the proverbial captain of your ship. Along with your leadership team, your actions and choices matter a great deal because they determine the direction of your ship -- or business. Leadership accountability is about walking the talk and taking responsibility when you don't.

The Domino Effect of Accountability

So, how does your own leadership accountability hold up? How is it affecting your team? Think of it as a domino effect. When you, as the leader, demonstrate accountability, you motivate your team to do the same. Leading by example conveys your expectations and encourages everyone to align with these expectations. They witness your commitment to responsibility in action, not just words.

Remember that your actions speak louder than words. Leading by example through accountability isn't just a strategy; it's a powerful testament to your integrity and your commitment to success.

Action: What is one action you can take to lead by example in your organization?

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