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Does Proper Accountability Guarantee Quality Leadership?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

Group of multi-ethnic business people having a meeting in office. Businessmen and businesswoman having a standing meeting in modern office.

Contrary to popular belief that being a leader is grand, it is a big responsibility than you fathom.

If one thing is amiss, the blame comes down on the leader, and they have to be accountable for it. While it is not easy to do so, it is crucial.

In the absence of accountability, even the best of hard-working and brilliant leaders can fail. Failure can be in any form, missing performance goals, extracting the best performances from the team, etc. Thus, it boils down to the essential aspect of leadership in business – accountability.

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What is Accountability in Leadership

Leadership accountability is often overlooked in the workplace. It is not restricted to being reliable or taking responsibility for the business. It takes more than that to be an accountable leader.

Accountability can be measured based on several parameters – business performance, team development, communication, company culture, and more. A leader is truly accountable only when they are committed to the business and its employees.

A leader must be a true people’s leader. They must build trust among all employees besides clearly communicating the goals to get the entire team aligned. The leader must give credit where due and accept responsibility if something goes wrong.

An accountable leader also assesses accountability in the lower levels of the organization hierarchy. So, for instance, the top-level management holds the mid-level managers accountable, and, in turn, they hold their team members accountable.

All levels within the organization must be accountable for their commitment to the organization and the culture. Every time anybody is addressed for not being accountable, it helps set proper standards of accountability for the workforce.

Only accountable leaders can nurture a sense of team accountability by creating teams that can think critically. These teams then optimize their contributions to align them with the company’s needs. It is the only way by which a company moves forward.

Implications of Lack of Accountability

When a leader is not accountable or refuses to take ownership of any failures, it can have disastrous rippling effects. Here are some of the biggest problems caused by a lack of accountability.

Resentment

If a leader refuses to admit their wrongdoing or take accountability, it can create a sense of resentment. Usually, even the best communicators on the team cannot ask a leader to be accountable. Unsolicited feedback may be misconstrued as criticism, and without a channel for healthy communication, resentment only increases.

Lack of Respect and Trust

Say, for instance, a leader claims to do something, does it, fails at it, and then does not own it. Such behaviour causes a lack of trust and respect for the leadership. When there is no trust, there is no honesty or transparency and consequently less engagement. Eventually, employees do not feel aligned with the company’s core values and start looking for other opportunities.

Bad Example Setting

Leaders with their conduct and values set the tone for the organization. So, when a leader refuses to take accountability, it trickles down through the hierarchy. Eventually, there is chaos, and nobody remains accountable.

Knowing the implications of a lack of accountability among leadership, it is safe to say that accountability guarantees quality leadership.

3 Ways How Accountability Guarantees Quality Leadership

Accountability must begin at the leadership level to ensure the success of the organization and its employees.

Here are a few ways how accountability leads to better results:

Builds Trust

When leaders are highly accountable, it creates a sense of trust within the organization. Their confidence in the leadership increases when the latter takes responsibility for all their decisions.

Besides, when leaders display such behaviour, it is reflected in the employees. Thus, leading to a sense of accountability through the organization. Consequently, the organization performs better overall than others with lower trust and accountability.

Improve Relationships

Another benefit of high accountability is the creation of stronger relationships between the leaders and employees.

When there is a transparent and proper channel of communication between the leaders and employees, it improves employee engagement. In turn, it leads to improved business performance and a highly motivated team.

Minimize Mistakes

When leaders take accountability for their mistakes, it makes it easier to find a solution to the problem. But, if the leader remains in denial about their mistake, it is unlikely that the mistake will get fixed.

To move forward, it is essential to accept mistakes. Accountable leaders who admit their oversight, will also openly discuss solutions with the entire organization. Thus, making it easier to source innovative and diverse solutions.

Wrapping Up

Developing accountability is definitely challenging. However, it is the key to achieving organizational goals, aligning the team, and fostering a healthy culture. For an organization to progress, it must align its priorities and set the right expectations.

Leadership accountability is the key to making the company progress. It is the leader’s commitment to excelling that keeps the workforce geared up for bigger targets.