Watch Part 3 of our four-part series and learn how to Ditch The Drama During Annual Enrollment with these Reality-Based Leadership Tips.
Have you ever heard this phrase at work? “You know what this place needs? More personal accountability!” Or how about this one, “I’m going to hold you personally accountable for this!”
Phrases like those give personal accountability a bad reputation. But there’s a lot more to personal accountability that just asking, “Who do I blame for this mess?” As we have seen in the first two videos, accountability starts with Commitment and Resilience. Only after those two elements are we ready for Ownership.
It would be a mistake to make someone own a bad result when they don’t believe they ever committed to delivering a good result. That’s why we say, “You can’t start with ownership, because ownership without commitment is just blame.”
Let me give you an example. My supervisor tells me, “I need you to do this project and have it done by Friday.” Now, because she never asked for my commitment, she just told me her expectations, I’m going to understand that my commitment is to make a reasonable effort to get it done by Friday. When Friday rolls around and I don’t have the project done, as long as I can show that I made a good faith effort to get it done, I’m going to let myself off the hook. If my supervisor insists that I own the failure to get it done, I’m going to feel like I’m being unfairly blamed for the situation. After all, I had extenuating circumstances that prevented me from getting it done.
Ownership without Commitment is just the blame game.
Let’s go through that scenario again, but this time my supervisor starts with commitment. She says, “Dave, I have a project that’s due on Friday and I’d like you to take it on. Can I count on you to have it complete by Friday?”
Now, when I say, “Yes, I’ll get it done by Friday.” I better get resilient because no matter what extenuating circumstances come up, I have agreed to own the results. Even if I have to ask for help, in fact, maybe I don’t personally do the work on the project at all, but either way, I said I would get it done, so I am going to make sure it gets done on time.
When Friday comes around, there won’t be any disagreement about whether I own the results or not. I agreed to get it done, so I own the result, whether the result was good or bad.
As a leader heading into Annual Enrollment, you need to have a team full of people who will accept ownership of their responsibilities. If you aren’t asking people to own the results of the project, then they are only going to commit to making a reasonable effort. If a reasonable effort doesn’t get the job done, then I guess the job just isn’t going to get done.
Of course, the job has to get done.
That’s why leaders must start with commitment. Ask your team members to commit to owning the results and not just a reasonable effort. Then encourage them to be resilient, leveraging their resources and overcoming obstacles to deliver a good result. When you start with Commitment and Resilience, asking for Ownership isn’t a problem, because everyone has already agreed about who bears responsibility.
But what if we do miss the deadline? What if the effort comes up short? Personally Accountable people learn from their losses, probably more than they do from their wins.
In our final segment, we will talk about how Continuous Learning is the key to growing and improving over time.
Thanks for watching the third part in our Ditch the Annual Enrollment Drama video series. You can watch Part 4 here.
Don’t want to wait? Download the full Ditch the Annual Enrollment Drama Guide Below!