The last group I worked with was so excited about their Accountability education and subsequent insights they wanted to overtake the world with their newly found personal power. That can be so annoying!
Have you ever run into someone who is on a new eating plan, or exercise regimen, or has read a self-help book that would be good for YOU? My first reaction to that is often “Leave me alone, manage yourself!”
By virtue of the fact that they are sharing their unbridled enthusiasm for their latest “thing” I hear underneath their sharing, “You need this.”
I choose to feel judged, deficient, and how unacceptable I am. Of course what they probably mean is “I love you so much I want to share something with you that makes me happy, like when I see a beautiful sunset and wish you were here to see it too.”
Does Personal Accountability Make You Happy?
With enthusiasm about accountability in hand after one of my education sessions, a Vice President immediately called a meeting of his Directors and proclaimed, “We are going to do this Accountability thing! I just left the Leadership Development session with Linda Galindo and Wow! You can all really use this!”
Gaaaaaaahhhh! This response is great for my business and me but bad for them and their business.
The Vice President told me what he had done when he called to schedule with me to work with Directors. He gushed, “I am so happy! This Accountability thing is going to be so great!” My response: “Not going to happen unless and until you are living the principles first. What were your top 3 learnings in the session?” He did not hesitate:
1. I rescue, fix and save underperformance instead of holding people accountable.
2. I talk about rather than to the person I am having the problem with.
3. I am conflict adverse and don’t hold my peer VPs accountable like a real leadership team member needs to.
“Terrific! I said, demonstrate improvement on these three things over the next three months and then I’ll come in and work with your group. For now, tell your Directors these are the three things you came away with from your leadership development session with me and that you want their support in working on improving. Say, ‘I am accountable to you to improve in these 3 areas, if I don’t, I should not be in this role.” Gulp.
We touched based once a month for the 3 months and he got the message about Accountability because he lived the message; he got personal. Outcome: He did not need me to come in to work with his Directors so “We can be more accountable.”
I “Hope” This Accountability Thing Works
A common utterance as a leadership group files out of their education on how to implement accountability in their culture top-to-bottom is “I hope this has staying power in our organization.” What is really meant is, “I hope these other people were listening because I’m accountable.”
Hope is not a plan. WE know that.
If you don’t leave any training or education with personal insights, commitment and actions you will take and be accountable for get your money back and definitely don’t inflict it on others! The proof is in your life change. Ask for support but it is ultimately YOU that makes the difference like a pebble in a pond when you start with yourself. The ripple effect is a beautiful thing to watch, but it is slow and quiet.
Whether it is Accountability or anything else in your life that you have huge enthusiasm for in new learning, my input for the most effectiveness in passing it on is counterintuitive…
Leave them alone! Live your difference and trust me, from those who want to know, they will ask…”How do you (did you) do that?” Your response will come from “I” and your audience will be riveted and want to come with you.
What are WE going to do? I don’t know, but I know what I am going to do…
Own, Act on, and Answer For so “we” can get this show on the road!