Who is truly accountable?
Let’s start with some quick context on “accountability”.
Essentially, it’s the act of chasing someone up to make sure they did what they said they were going to do... It’s “holding them to account” for the things they have committed to.
And in my opinion, the best side of accountability to be on, is the side that is holding someone else accountable, because you have the power... do you agree?
... in reality, it’s the other way around!
The person with the most responsibility is the one charged with making sure it got done in the first place.
Easy enough to chase someone up and find they didn’t do it. Plenty of energy and excuses get thrown around when that happens. But challenge yourself on this small, but kinda everything point... what was it that you were counting on getting done and can you truly afford to waste more time without it?!
My bet is that you wanted it done for a reason. So the next question I have for you is this.
When something doesn’t get done by someone else who said they were going to do it. Rather than waste time and energy on that outcome... ask yourself: “What responsibility in that do I take and what do I need to do differently to get it done”.
The answer lies somewhere in the reason it was not done and often in the actual reasons that excuse is covering up.
Is it a “will” issue, or is it a “skill” issue?
Were they not motivated to get it done at all or did they lack the confidence or ability to do it to a standard they wanted to deliver.
In my experience, most of the reasons things arent being done is not because of a lack of intent of the individual. If it was intent that was the issue, in many cases, they wouldnt have committed to doing it in the first place! I find that there are reasons (not obvious) that caused the individual to avoid the task and as experts of social survival, they are incredibly good (almost expert) at devising a reason or excuse that would satisfy almost anyones mission of holding them accountable!
But I warn you. This ignorant management approach will only lead to further delays and excuses, it may even lead to complete avoidance and delaying tactics from someone generally pretty happy and engaged! You see, they need to protect themselves at all times from judgement and exposure, its instinctual and being vulnerable is not natural, especially if you dont feel safe to do so. Then net result? You dont get done what you really needed to get done and, in some cases, the individual disengages from other activities or even quits their job!
All of this could have been avoided if you re-framed the intent of accountability from the beginning. More so, anticipate a lack of skill and approach the accountability with support in mind to get it done.