30th March 2017

No Hiding Place Part 2

Last time I wrote about how by using the WWW judiciously in meetings and squaring the circle would result in a healthier culture of accountability, and so it will. There will be no hiding place. The reliable performers will be as visible to everyone as will the unreliable ones, or those who dodge each and every responsibility and if you are the boss, there will be no hiding place for you either.

Every time you shirk a decision, or choose a favourite over someone less favoured, that will be visible too. Being unfair with the allocation of tasks, avoiding the shirkers and not ‘playing things with a straight bat’ will also be visible to all.

Fairness is one of those values that probably ranks highly to most people in the western world in the 21st century. Demonstrate a lack of fairness and expect the consequences.

If someone fails to deliver on their commitment it is important to deal with it appropriately. Don’t just pass it by, otherwise why did you waste everyone’s time and commitment to list it in the first place. If it is the first offence deal with it in a firm but level way. Let it be known that failing to deliver isn’t the standard we expect on this team, that others have been let down, that other actions will have been delayed or pushed back. Perhaps you may give the person the chance to reset the completion date, emphasising that the date we commit to is important. Are they sure they can deliver by next week, or do they want to select a date two weeks hence rather than risk a ‘red cross’ again next week? As the boss you will have a lot of options. Ignoring it is not one of them. Condoning failure to deliver is not one of them. Picking the right option is important.

Remember to always have the mantra of praising in public and reprimanding in private in mind. This is a public forum and treating people with dignity and respect is critical. So is being straight, talking straight and not mincing words. By all means criticise the behaviour when it is deserved but do not tear the person down. Remember the peer group pressure that is so important and upon which this process depends for much of its power will also serve to amplify your reaction so make sure it is always level, unambiguous and beyond criticism.

There is no hiding place. There is no hiding place for anyone. Including you. If you fail to take the appropriate action you will be exposed. If you allow the accountability for completing something to be sidestepped then the accountability for poor performance will naturally transfer to you. You will be deemed to be condoning a culture of no accountability, you will be advertising yourself as a paper tiger with all the implications that carries.

Be sure there is no hiding place for anyone in a culture of accountability least of all the leader. Be the leader your team deserve.