Accountability and delegation are two critical factors when it comes to transforming a good team into a great team. Every team member must be accountable to every other team member if you want to create a high-performance team. Not only does this foster greater innovation, trust, honesty and productivity, but it also frees you up from being the playground monitor.
Moving your business from a million dollar company to a 10 million dollar company revolves around accountability of your team, and your ability to delegate. Your time is far too valuable to be spent settling squabbles between team members. I have worked with over 600 teams in my coaching career, and I have seen weak teams, mediocre teams, and industry leading teams. In a nutshell here is the difference:
- Weak teams – have little or no accountability
- Mediocre teams – have the boss as their only source of accountability
- Industry leading teams – have a culture of universal accountability where the vast majority of problems are solved by team members themselves
Delegation only works when the person or persons you are delegating to are on the same page when it comes to vision, goals, and expectations. You must be willing to invest some time initially to train your team leaders who in return will train your team. The days of the CEO leading team meetings from start to finish are over – today’s top team meetings involve input from the entire team. For example, if a team member is late for a meeting, anyone on the team should feel confident and comfortable respectively questioning the tardy member and holding him or her accountable.
The following is an overview of ideas I have shared with teams in the past for creating a culture of universal accountability.
- Set Expectations – Make it clear to all team members that you want and expect them to hold you and the other team members accountable.
- Walk The Walk – Confront your concerns directly, failure to do this will result in the loss of moral authority from your team
- Teach It – The best leaders are teachers – make a list of conflict resolution skills and teach one during every staff meeting. Have the team practice what you have taught by role-playing, trust me, your team will complain, but this will make a huge difference in transference to real life situations.
As an entrepreneur, your role should not be to settle problems or constantly micro-manage, it should be to create a culture where peers address concerns immediately, directly and respectfully with each other. The basic principle should be that anyone should be able to hold anyone accountable if it is in the best interest of the team. Teams that embrace this culture are able to save time as problems get solved better and faster, therefore increasing productivity and your bottom line.
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