Advice for When You Apply These Ideas

Remember this advice when you devise accountability plans for teams and individuals.

As a manager, the relationship between yourself and your team—and its constituent individuals—is by far the most important relationship you need to manage, even more than the relationship between yourself and your boss. (With any luck, your boss has also read this course, and will be focused on the most important relationship they have, that is to say, the relationship of them to their team, which includes you.) Keep team accountability clear and distinct from individual accountability, as best you can, and make sure that your poor performers get the coaching they need, and your exceptional performers get the challenges they crave.

Remember that these are people, not components or machines, and they are going to be non-deterministic in how they respond and react to when and how you hold them accountable. For some, the word “accountability” will come off as “blame,” so be ready to make your intentions clear—and follow through with your actions—when discussing when and how you are going to hold your team accountable. Be clear on which processes and activities are “critical path,” and which are “nice to have,” so your team members can prioritize correctly.

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