Recently on a leadership call, we got in to a discussion about leaders being able to both inspire people and hold them accountable. One of the leaders, Chris said, "It's like a good cop - bad cop kind of thing." He went on to say that sometimes he has difficulty with the accountability piece as he feels like the accountability part will undo the inspiration part. He gave me an example:
Mary is a good worker. She works hard and her numbers show it. The only issues is that she consistently does not hand her reports in on time, sometimes not at all. He read me several emails that Mary sent along with her reports all of which were 4 days or more late. There were a myriad of reasons why her reports weren't submitted timely.
Here are a few:
I was hoping that I would get calls on Friday night
I was in traffic and got home late
I totally forgot about them
I can't get them done as I am too busy
We began speaking about the accountability ladder. Each of these excuses fall under "victim behaviors" which include:
Wait and hope
We then talked about the responsibility of a leader to develop the people they serve in to leaders. A good growth exercise for Mary would changing her victim behaviors in to these "accountability behaviors":
Make it happen
Yesterday, he called me back. He did the exercise with Mary and explained to her that her growth and development was of paramount importance to him. She would need to change her victim behaviors in to accountable behaviors. They talked about solutions to her challenges. She thanked him for that. She also admitted that she doesn't like doing them and quickly said...but I need to acknowledge the reality that i have to do them. At the end of my call he said, "Thanks...you taught me how to be a purposeful badass."
What are the chances that I just happened to have a Hallmark book of postcards with the Formula For Success on it. I put a stamp on it and placed it in the mail today to Chris!