The only way to effectively hold others accountable is to first hold yourself accountable in front of them.
As a leader, if you want employee engagement and long-term influence, you must take a look at the role you’ve played in your team’s problem and make sure your people know that you’re examining your own involvement. When you do that, your group’s level of animosity (if any) drops, your skills and communication improve, and you create a sustainable culture of accountability.
This is not an opinion or an idea; it’s how human nature affects a situation if we allow it to take its natural course and we are honest with ourselves. It’s also an overall conclusion drawn from decades of Gallup studies. It’s why some leaders who regularly unveil mediocre ideas from the latest book they’ve misinterpreted have the undying loyalty of their people, while brilliant strategists with good track records run off top talent. Have you ever wondered why highly skilled people who don’t apply themselves for one leader can hit home runs for another? Think about it. How hard would you work for a boss who never claims a role in any mistake?
If we want people to perform at the highest level, to buy into change and to adopt new processes with minimal errors and complaints, they have to feel their leaders are willing to accept responsibility. Then your team is positioned to perform its best. You will never really know how good your people are until they know you are accountable. It’s what many leaders rarely do and what the most successful always do!