Senthiyl S S G
Director, Arbinger Singapore/Malaysia
As leaders, it’s worth considering how we might reduce our time spent supervising and holding our direct reports accountable for their work and results.
Think about it. The more time we spend supervising and holding our direct reports accountable:
- The more we are reducing ownership and accountability in our direct reports for their very responsibilities.
- This also places an enormous burden on leaders and creates a huge bottleneck in the system with severe under utilization of talent available.
This is a problem that leaders and teams cannot afford to be grappling with in today’s highly competitive business environment. We end up spending precious time overseeing the jobs of others and the value loss to the team and organization is too high. It leads to the inability of leaders to value add in their respective roles. Absorbed in overseeing direct reports accomplish their expected results, constant fire-fighting becomes the norm, and there is little room for anything else.
However, there is a better way to lead and support our direct reports in delivering results. Arbinger suggests that instead of holding our direct reports accountable, we supply accountability to them.
What does it mean to “supply accountability”?
Supplying accountability simply means helping our direct reports hold themselves accountable for their impact rather than being held accountable by others.
Supplying accountability and strengthening direct reports to hold themselves accountable for their impact will transform the dynamics of the team and offer unique competitive advantage to teams. In many ways this is the little understood secret to teamwork, trust, collaboration and optimization of available time.
Paying attention to self accountability is a critical factor in scrutinizing and improving the chances of selecting the right future leaders within the organization.
Supplying accountability requires leaders to address two areas:
- Addressing the role and leader needs to play in inviting self accountable direct reports
- Creating a mechanism that helps direct reports take ownership and feel accountable for their responsibilities and impact
Leadership and Self-Deception and The Outward Mindset offer key ingredients that make this possible. While this is the “foundational level” work of Arbinger, the rationale creates a fundamental shift in mindset. It clarifies the steps needed to transform from a culture of holding people accountable to supplying accountability.