July 26, 2019 4:00 am Published by

Reasons or Results #115

I was working with a team recently and one member challenged me on single-point accountability. She said she disagreed with the concept and their people “share” accountability for getting things done.

While this is a great idea, it will always lead to the same outcome. When things are working, it’s a fine concept. What happens when things don’t work – when the stuff hits the fan and things don’t work? You know, the project is late, a client is angry, money is lost, you stayed late and others on the team didn’t, your main client is in jeopardy because of how things were handled, someone from the team gets promoted and you didn’t or ____________________ (insert your favorite worst case scenario here)?

That whole team accountability goes out the window, doesn’t it? When the shit gets real and things become costly, this new thing happens. It’s called blame. And as Gino Wickman says “whenever two or more people are accountable, no one’s accountable.

One question I ask at these times when people are uncomfortable with accountability is to ask “who would you fire if things went wrong?” No one has been able to answer that logically. When a sports team has a consistently poor record, who do they fire? They fire the coach, not the team.

Until you have clarity – a crystal clear understanding of every position’s accountabilities within your organization, you will have many things including gaps, incompletion, blame, and an abundance of stories, excuses, reasons, explanations and justifications.

Oh, and there’s one thing you won’t have….results.

The choice is yours: take the team approach and have the many things that accompany it or you can choose a single point of accountability and have what you intend. It’s your choice, reasons or results.