The more accountability that there is an organization the more successful it's going to be. When people feel accountable, they take ownership of the outcome, and they will work harder and longer to ensure that success is achieved.

Research shows that on 70% of initiatives that failed, the people involved, knew day one that the initiative was going to fail, and when people believe it's going to fail.

This belief that the intiative will fail can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Why is that? It's because when people believe something is going to fail, once it starts to fail then they go into the I told you so mode and then the step back and watch it fail.

Whereas if they believe it is going to be successful once something starts to fail they ae surprised and look to find out what's wrong and try and fix it. Now they are in solution mode. This doesn't guarantee they will be successful, but you get more success from solution mode than you ever will from I told you so mode.

The challenge is getting people to feel accountable and to accept ownership.

The mistake that most managers make is that they try to delegate accountability.

This doesn't work!

You can delegate a task, you can delegate responsibility, but you can't delegate accountability.

Accountability has to be accepted!

The good news is that there is a simple way to increase the acceptance of accountability.

Ask your teams or staff, if they have everything they need to be successful. Once they say yes, then they have accepted accountability and ownership for the outcome.

If they say no, then there is no way they can accept accountability because they believe in the current set up success is not possible.

As leaders and managers, it's your job to put people into positions where they can be successful, and by asking this simple question you can ensure that you have done that. If you don't, then when people fail, they will not feel accountable for the failure; they will see you as being accountable because you didn't give them everything they needed.

In my experience, when you set people up for success most people will accept the opportunity. People are not afraid of hard work they are afraid of failure, and when they have the everything they need to be successful then they will work harder, and go into solution mode when things become difficult, or the results are not in line with expectations.

So to increase the acceptance of accountability just ask your teams if they have everything they need, do they have the right skills, the right resources and enough time to successfully complete the work.

When they say yes, then they have accepted accountability, and when they become accountable they take ownership of the outcomes which increases the probability of success.

As a bonus, we can also maintain their level of accountability throughout by adding "if at anytime you feel you need anything just come to me and ask."

This helps because, not only do they start off as accountable but they also know that they have as option if they find out they have an issue later, as it gives them an option to help resolve it.

When you set people up for success, they will be more successful.

Published on: Nov 21, 2016