I had the pleasure of meeting Greg Bustin at a recent Vistage event, an affable American who has successfully worked with the leadership teams of a good number of Fortune 500 companies in his career. I even managed to win one of his books during the session and have frantically skimmed read it to glean as much as possible from it to produce this summary. I have not done it justice and plan to re-read it but I hope the following draws out the salient points. I certainly found them of value and am beginning to apply them in my work.
The first question Greg poses is how do you view accountability, as a punishment or a genuine affection? Greg preaches that accountability is a support system for winners and answers the question “Can I count on you?” He goes further by explaining that the first tenet of accountability is clarity of purpose. Clarity creates confidence, confusion, on the other hand, causes chaos. Leaders must have clarity of purpose and be able to relay their message to the team. Secondly, comes tracking, Greg Explains that tracking does the heavy lifting of accountability. Winners want to see progress so tracking acts as a scoreboard, winners love to be measured, losers don’t.
The other point he makes is about leading with questions. Conversations about under-performance are coaching sessions to help colleagues improve and help you answer the question “How much more of my time am I willing to invest in this person?” Failure to address under-perfomance is a double standard that is disrespectful to top performers and tarnishes the reputation of the leader. We are left with the conclusion that what we tolerate we sanction so Greg leaves us with a plea. ”When you see it, say it then solve it”. There are numerous real life examples cited and he goes to some length to deconstruct the idea of accountability.
In summary, then, accountability is a form of affection aimed at winners in the organisation. As we know, leadership is not doing what is popular but doing what is right.
25 years experience in marketing will help me quickly get under the skin of your marketing challenge and provide workable, commercial solutions for your organisation. I listen carefully and take the time to understand the critical issues and develop a personalised, honest response designed to drive enduring value at speed.
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