Last week, I dove into a topic that’s top of mind for a lot of the Founders I’ve been coaching: how to create a culture of accountability.
It’s one of the most fundamental qualities of a successful company, but nobody teaches Founders how accountability actually works.
It’s one of the key components of the 4th Rule for Rocket Ships: Real-Life Leadership.
In Part I of this series, I shared the secret of creating accountability. People think accountability is either all about cracking the whip or just hiring really smart people and giving them lots of space.
But neither of those models will create consistent results.
As I wrote in Part I, the actual secret to creating accountability is getting really serious about aligning expectations.
There is no accountability if people aren’t working from the same set of expectations. When everyone looks back at the end of the day, and they are trying to figure out what when wrong, it usually comes out that they were working from different sets of expectations.
I wrote about how according to Roger Connors and Tom Smith, authors of “How Did That Happen?”, there are four key steps to getting aligned on expectations: Form, Communicate, Align, and Inspect.
If you make these four steps a part of every initiative, you have set a solid foundation for creating accountability.
But even with these four steps, sometimes you get to the end of a milestone or initiative, and things haven’t gone the way you expected.
That’s when an Accountability Conversation happens. When people hear the term accountability conversation, they think of coming down hard and cracking the whip.
But really according to Roger Connors and Tom Smith, there’s a pretty specific way to go about an accountability conversation.
If the outer ring of accountability is all about aligning expectations, the inner ring of the accountability conversation is all about systematically understanding what went wrong. They offer four areas that need to be sussed out:
In having these conversations, it is important to:
When I was leading my first startup, accountability conversations were really uncomfortable for me. I wish I had this framework back then because it breaks down the elements of accountability into a pretty logical sequence of steps.
When you and your company integrate these steps, you will have an amazing culture of accountability.
Until next time,
Helping Founders Build Rocket Ships
PS Ready toTake Your Growth To The Next Level? Let's talk. Schedule a growth conversation here.
PPSGet Your Free Rocket Ship Score!
The Rocket Ship Assessment is based on real world experience scaling startups from idea to multi-million dollar exits. Find the weak points in your business and get free actionable feedback on how to accelerate your business! Take your free assessment here.