Holding people accountable. The part of business that so many leaders struggle with. Why? It’s uncomfortable; it’s conflict. So we try to avoid it by rationalizing to ourselves. Maybe if I give it more time it will get better. (Sorry, it won’t.) I’ll never find someone to replace them. (Wrong, you will.)
Here’s the paradox: The number one reason you have to hold people accountable has nothing to do with those few people. It’s so you don’t de-motivate and demoralize everyone else. Everyone who bought into the dream and is driving to make it happen. It’s those people who get frustrated when you don’t hold someone accountable. Why isn’t that person getting the job done? Why aren’t you holding that person accountable? Wait, it gets worse. Because now they question their commitment. Why should I work so hard when you don’t care enough to hold that person accountable? Maybe you’re not that committed.
Congratulations. You’ve now de-motivated the many because you won’t deal with the few.
The next time you find yourself avoiding an accountability discussion – and you’ll know it – ask yourself: By not dealing with this, what is the effect I’m having on everyone else?