Bill Harrison - Accountability Continued

Posted: Tuesday, October 19, 2021
By: Gillespie Electric, Inc.

Accountability Continued

This is a follow-on newsletter from last month’s topic of accountability. If we are going to hold folks responsible, we need to know responsible for what – exactly. The key is that the person being held responsible must know in crystal clear terms what they are being accountable for.

You might want to refresh your memory by reading the September Quick Notes once more. Now get ready for the most challenging aspect of accountability. This might be a serious blow for many readers.

When you make it crystal clear (in your mind) what you expect, this is what most of the team is actually hearing: “Blah, blah, blah”. “But that can’t possibly be”, you say. Trust me, this is truer than you realize. Because now we are getting to the crux of accountability and why it is so difficult.

They hear you but don’t believe you because they have heard this bs before, many times. You have made it clear what the rules of the game were but then you had exceptions for certain folks. Maybe your best tech failed to follow the rules but you ignored it because well, he was your best tech. Or there were situations that came up and you made an exception because of the “special circumstances”. Or you just stopped following the rules.


Are you feeling the pain of this? You must understand that the rules must apply to everyone, all the time, or they are no longer the way we do things. If that checklist only applies most of the time, then discard it and start over. Maybe it doesn’t apply all the time, then rewrite it so it does.

We will discuss next month how to apply the rules so this all works. And yes, sometimes you get involved in some serious issues and take a shortcut or by-pass the rules. You will learn what to do when that happens.

For your homework, just start paying attention to what the rules are and how they are being applied in your area of responsibility. You can’t hold folks accountable when you have shifting standards or guidelines. That certainly frustrates the team and that is when they start to hear the “blah, blah, blah”.

Let’s pretend you have a three-page standard operating procedure. If paragraph three on page two is no longer relevant then you must understand what happens. Folks will start to discount the entire SOP. Now you can claim that this shouldn’t happen; and you would be correct. However, human nature is not always rational. Have you noticed this?

Now, what if the rules of the game need to be changed? This usually happens over time so we will discuss what we do then next month. Have a comment, The Coach would like to hear it.

The Phoenix Leadership Institute, LLC

6200 Settlers Trail Place

Gainesville, VA 20155

Tel: 703-909-8230


Tagged:Teamwork, Workforce Development

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