A commitment to resolution

The owner of a distribution business complained that his staff was not following through on commitment deadlines. I had been consulting with this team for over a year. They were excited by our implementation of “The Oz Principle, a method of being accountable for your actions. The Oz Principle’s definition of accountability is “a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results.” I had worked with the team on moving past blaming others for problems. They were now on the next steps ­— seeing the problem, owning it, and making a commitment to resolving it. The owner saw solutions being recognized by his team but was finding it difficult to hold them accountable.

Steps to accountability

This is a common scenario. Identifying the problem is often easier than solving it. “The Oz Principle” authors recommend the following steps.

  1. Clearly define the desired results – Be sure a specific outcome has been established. Often, next steps are not consistent with getting the required results. Ask the lead person to send notes on any purposeful conversation. These should summarize expected results with a timeline.
  2. Determine a mutually agreeable time for a progress report – Specify a time to review progress on a commitment. I find that this is often the stimulus needed to ensure you stay on track. Scheduled reporting sets you up to succeed by creating deadlines and a chance to make adjustments to your progress where needed.
  3. Deliver praise or coaching – Reviewing steps progressively gives you the opportunity to praise and motivate the team as they work toward a common goal. It also provides a chance to brainstorm and make modifications when needed. Be careful with your assistance. Do not allow the team to think you are making them less accountable.

An opportunity to help

As a leader, you have the opportunity to help those around you mature through accountability. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can hold your team accountable and achieve desired results.

Get tips and tricks like the above in The Art of Sales books. Or subscribe to the FREE monthly articles here.