The Trinity of Accountability

“At the end of the day, we are accountable to ourselves; our success is a result of what we do.” In this episode, I analyze the application of Accountability within a team environment. The importance of Responsibility, Dependability, and Predictability of the individual must be understood to translate to team success.

Accountability is one of the four core tenants of my leadership philosophy. To understand the importance of how Accountability can be applied in a team environment, here are three components to focus on:

Responsibility – Know what your job is and perform it lethally.

While it may be beneficial for you to understand how other jobs work and interface with your job, you must first and foremost perform your job as assigned. The overall team will only function optimally if you understand and execute your individual position within the team. If you need assistance learning how to perform your job, put your ego aside and ask for help. Simply put, “Do your job.” 

Dependability – Be a trustworthy teammate that can be relied upon to deliver when and where needed.

Consistent performance builds trust. That performance may not be perfect every time, but in most cases, the overall team will take effort over perfection. When you take action as a dependable teammate, you also understand the connections between your individual actions and how they can positively or negatively affect your teammates. That understanding should serve as motivation to not let your teammate down because they are focusing on their portion of the task and need you to focus on your portion. Take your individual focus seriously and deliver.

Predictability – Make it possible for the team to know in advance what will happen next.

Emergencies and last-minute work are unavoidable, but they should be minimized as much as possible to ensure maximal effort is being applied by the team. This can be accomplished through deliberate planning to know when and where work should be completed. When a team knows when a decision needs to be made, prioritization of work should be aligned to that date. If that target is unknown, work efficiency is marginalized and often results in poor team execution. If you fail to plan, plan to fail.