I was reading in the newspaper today that the new CEO of General Motors had called upon his senior staff to be “accountable”. That is a good call, but in my experience the problem is often the reverse. By that I mean most senior personnel would like nothing better than being treated as accountable for their results, but feel that they are being micro-managed at every step of the way.
Those of you that are familiar with my style will have keyed in to the one critical word in the statement “being treated as accountable for their results”. The word results is what it is all about. Too many managers or business owners try to manage the process, and not the results so everyone gets the feeling of being interfered with or micro-managed. Why does this happen? Simply put, because the boss has not clearly set out the goals and objectives and has not agreed upon milestones and metrics.
As managers, we take a lot of care in choosing our people. We expect them to be trained to do the job, or if not we ensure they get the training they need, So what is the point of monitoring the process. If they didn’t know what to do, we wouldn’t employ them. No, the way to go is set realistic, measurable and mutually agreed goals, set up the measurement system which is transparent to both sides then, and only then can we hold our personnel accountable. The goals we set should be short term, medium term and long term and each should have a defined metric our milestone. Now we don’t measure the process, we concentrate solely on achieving results.
So the title of the article is “Accountability is a two way street!” Where does the “two ways” come in? Let’s face it, not all bosses are good managers, in fact if you listen to the water cooler scuttlebutt, very few are. So as staff, what do we have to do to get the process going? For sure complaining about being micro-managed is not going to help. The key is getting the boss to define and agree those critical goals and objectives. If he won’t do it, you must. Sit down, ask yourself what you think would be what achievements you would expect if you were your boss. Write them down then ask your boss to go over them with you. What will probably happen the first time you do this is your boss will be surprised how high you set the bar for yourself.
Very soon he will begin to get the idea. If you are lucky he will even start to set goals that he wants to include. If not, you just keep at it, make sure your boss approves of your objectives, then get bout there and be accountable for their achievement.
With 45 years of experience in leading positions in business across North America and internationally, Mike Anderson knows the business of business. More important, he has learned how to teach it. He is now consulting to small and medium sized companies, specializing in CEO and senior management training. Please Visit http://trainmetobeaceo.blogspot.com