Tag Archives: accountability

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Consistently Building Your Dream

Consistently exercising your biceps will build up your arm muscles, right?

Consistently encouraging your team or staff will foster a positive work atmosphere. Consistently delivering on promises will seal your reputation of reliability and honesty.

You see how powerful consistency is?

So how do you build your consistency muscle?

Goal-based Practices

Here are some actions to take that foster a strong, agile and productive consistency in your professional life.

• Establish actions and habits that are aligned with your goals and practice them regularly.

• Set a standard of excellence in each regular activity and stick to it.

• Communicate with others based on what you want to accomplish, not on temporary circumstances.

• Understand that random changes on your part could cause confusion or extra work for others.

• Hold yourself for doing what you say you will do. When you haven’t done what you promised, be honest about it and make a new commitment that you can keep.

• When possible, establish a pattern or checklist for accomplishing repetitive tasks. Using it will help you achieve reliable, predictable results.

Steps to Growing Consistency

First, ask yourself, what are the things you need to do on a consistent basis to accomplish your goals?

Then, determine which things you are not doing regularly and prioritize them. Decide which ones you are willing to commit to doing on a regular basis. Identify any obstacles that may have impeded you in the past and make a plan to overcome them. Ask for help or advice from someone who has mastered consistency, especially someone who performs a similar role to your own.

Make a daily checklist. At the end of the week, review your progress.

Next, identify your top three accountabilities. What actions are required to achieve them?

Identify a step-by-step process that leads you through the actions that must be performed for each of these accountabilities. Establish standardized procedures that are best practices for achieving results. Discuss your ideas with someone you respect and ask for feedback.

Keep a daily progress report on how well you follow the standardized procedures (reporting makes us accountable). Review your daily reports on a regular basis.

Make Your Dream Come True

I don’t believe that “consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative,” as Oscar Wilde famously said. I believe it’s a powerful tool for creative people like you.

Use it to make your dream come true, step by step!

Your Coach,

sig_shandel

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When Leadership Requires Tough Love

Being a leader isn’t easy! Many challenges exist in the world of leadership, and one of the most difficult is when a leader must use the concept of “tough love” to elicit growth in a team member. I could write something on the topic, but I’m going to instead let my buddy Bret Simmons do the talking! Bret recently posted the article, The Process of Leadership Requires Tough Love. Please visit his blog and let him know you were there!

Here’s Bret…

The first book we read in my MBA class on Leading Change is “Building the Bridge as You Walk on It” by Robert E. Quinn. The key point of the book is that organizations do not change significantly unless someone inside the organization changes significantly; hence, self-change is the key to organizational change. Ever increasing integrity is the driving force of self-change; the discipline to chose to daily confront the biggest hypocrite you will ever encounter in your organization – the one you see in the mirror.  It’s a brilliant book that applies the systems thinking principle of purposeful emergence across scale to leadership and change.

Toward the very end of the book is a chapter about tough love and leadership that is ripe with wisdom. Here are some of the notes from that chapter that I share with my students:

  • Tough love is the integration of toughness and love; the ability to be both compassionate and assertive.
  • Those who treat us with tough love disturb the habitual way in which we choose to see ourselves by asking tough questions or making tough statements
  • When most people think of tough love, they split the oppositions and focus only on being tougher but forget the importance of also growing in compassion
  • We cannot inform people into tough love. We can only invite others into that creative state when we practice tough love ourselves
  • You must learn as a follower the value of telling others what they need to hear or you will never invite this from others when you become a leader
  • Withholding the truth from others is a selfish, rather than a purposeful posture. Choosing comfort over truth is irresponsible.
  • Selfish people will punish you for telling them the truth; but that does not relieve you of the responsibility to do so. If you don’t learn to practice responsible freedom in tough love then you allow yourself to be enslaved by someone else’s comfort zone.
  • We don’t transform by learning concepts; we transform when we commit to a higher purpose.

It’s clear to me that in order to practice tough love as a leader you have to develop the discipline as a follower. The process of leadership requires authentic relationships where everyone assumes responsibility for giving and receiving honest, purposeful feedback. There is no integrity in playing charades.

At the end of Quinn’s chapter on tough love, he offers a list of helpful hints for practicing the discipline. As I read the list again last night, I was struck by how well they capture the essence of effective leadership.

  • Know the collective result you want to create
  • Know what difficult standards are necessary to create that result
  • Model complete integrity around the standard
  • Hold everyone to the same standard that you are modeling
  • Make no exceptions
  • Let people go if they cannot live the standard
  • No one is more important than the collective good
  • Challenge others to exceed their current capabilities
  • Spend time with people you seek to lead
  • Show genuine concern for their needs
  • Make all topics discussable, including your own behavior

That’s a darn good list of suggestions. Don’t miss the fact that the responsibility to model complete personal integrity to the espoused standards comes before holding anyone else accountable. The only way to ensure you are not making an exception for yourself is to invite others to hold you accountable, just as you would hold them accountable. More than an invitation, it has to be an expectation. It’s irresponsible for any follower to not hold him or herself accountable for helping you hold yourself accountable.

If you really care, then you will find the courage to say what needs to be said. If you never tell the truth, then you really don’t care. You must care if you want to matter.

It’s your responsibility to want to matter. You’re not entitled to matter, you have to earn it by the choices you make on a daily basis.

- Special thanks to Dr. Bret Simmons for sharing his wisdom with us. This was originally posted on www.bretlsimmons.com

Your Coach,

sig_shandel

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Consistently Building Your Dream

Consistently exercising your biceps will build up your arm muscles, right?

Consistently encouraging your team or staff will foster a positive work atmosphere. Consistently delivering on promises will seal your reputation of reliability and honesty.

You see how powerful consistency is?

So how do you build your consistency muscle?

Goal-based Practices

Here are some actions to take that foster a strong, agile and productive consistency in your professional life.

• Establish actions and habits that are aligned with your goals and practice them regularly.

• Set a standard of excellence in each regular activity and stick to it.

• Communicate with others based on what you want to accomplish, not on temporary circumstances.

• Understand that random changes on your part could cause confusion or extra work for others.

• Hold yourself for doing what you say you will do. When you haven’t done what you promised, be honest about it and make a new commitment that you can keep.

• When possible, establish a pattern or checklist for accomplishing repetitive tasks. Using it will help you achieve reliable, predictable results.

Steps to Growing Consistency

First, ask yourself, what are the things you need to do on a consistent basis to accomplish your goals?

Then, determine which things you are not doing regularly and prioritize them. Decide which ones consistencyyou are willing to commit to doing on a regular basis. Identify any obstacles that may have impeded you in the past and make a plan to overcome them. Ask for help or advice from someone who has mastered consistency, especially someone who performs a similar role to your own.

Make a daily checklist. At the end of the week, review your progress.

Next, identify your top three accountabilities. What actions are required to achieve them?

Identify a step-by-step process that leads you through the actions that must be performed for each of these accountabilities. Establish standardized procedures that are best practices for achieving results. Discuss your ideas with someone you respect and ask for feedback.

Keep a daily progress report on how well you follow the standardized procedures (reporting makes us accountable). Review your daily reports on a regular basis.

Make Your Dream Come True

I don’t believe that “consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative,” as Oscar Wilde famously said. I believe it’s a powerful tool for creative people like you.

Use it to make your dream come true, step by step!

Your Coach,

sig_shandel

may 6

Your Interpersonal Best

What would you do to improve your interpersonal skills? Last time we looked at what interpersonal skills are, and why having strong ones leads to success.

Now it’s time to get down to work!

Here are four activities you can do to improve your relationships and boost your professional and personal sociability. Trust me, it’s worth the effort!

Activity 1: Improving Existing Relationships

Create a chart with four columns with these headings: Person’s Name, Quality of Relationship (1-5 scale), Goals for Improving Relationship, and Due Date.

Now list the people with whom you work regularly. Fill in the chart, evaluating your relationship with each person (on a scale of 1-5 in which 1 is the best and 5 is the worst) and setting goals toward improving your relationships with these individuals. Make sure you list something positive you can do for everyone, including people you already get along very well with.

Be sure to set dates for all your goals, and then hold yourself accountable!

Activity 2: Ask for Honest Feedback

Ask several people you trust for their feedback on your leadership style. Choose people at a variety of levels of your organization such as, management, peers or employees.

Make an appointment with each person to talk formally. Use the following questions as a guide to your discussion. Remember to be open and not defensive.

  • How would you describe my leadership style?
  • What do I do well in my role as a leader?
  • What do others do better? How could I improve my skills?
  • Am I people oriented?
  • Are there any specific situations you thought I handled particularly well?
  • Are there any specific situations you thought I could have handled better? What did you think I should have done?
  • Do I seem assertive but not overbearing, or am I too forceful in stating my desires and plans?

Activity 3: Review of Your Skills

Ask someone you trust to observe you as you present a new idea or project to others. Have the person take notes and give you feedback on how you handled the following:

  • Presenting yourself
  • Presenting your ideas
  • Sounding enthusiastic and positive about your plans
  • Persuading others that your idea would benefit them or those they serve
  • Politely fielding questions and managing disagreement
  • Being assertive but not aggressive
  • Other areas observed during your attempt to persuade someone of the merits of your idea or plan

Activity 4: Observing Others

Make a point of observing people in your organization who are particularly good at gaining support and agreement from others. Answer these questions:

  • What technique does each person use to persuade people?
  • How do they present themselves?
  • How do they present their ideas?
  • How do they handle disagreements and conflict?
  • What do you like best about how they present new ideas or programs?

Remember, communicating effectively, building rapport, and relating well to all kinds of people are essential skills for any successful person. And, one can never stop getting better at them! So I challenge you today to get going on these activities – you, your organization, your circle of acquaintances and family, all will be happier for it!

Your Coach,

sig_shandel

Accountability : Love It or Hate It, We All Need it

Recently, I partnered with leadership guru Dr. Bret Simmons to coach a non-profit executive team in Reno, Nevada. Working with smart execs we were able to drill down in less than one hour to the core source of the team's barrier to growth. It was a core concept that I've witnessed and lived time and time again – accountability!

My first memory of being accountable is at age 10 in my purple bedroom with my mom as my manager. She sweetly offered to help me clean my room, closet, drawers, everything to make it perfect. Then she said, “Shandel, this is how I want your room to look everyday before you go to school. If it is not, you will be given a verbal warning. Then you will be grounded for ten minutes, then thirty minutes, and it will double every time you forget.”

It was easy to do for the first week because it was manageable. I was successful until midway thru the second week.

Continue reading

Why Follow Up and Accountability Matters

Slide from #2011wls on April 2nd Summit

Tonight, I am hosting a follow up call from the 2011 Women's Leadership Summit.  On April 2nd, over 100 women gathered to learn about leadership, emotional intelligence and intentional living.  One month later we gather via a conference call to talk about the progress we have made, insights we have gathered, and lessons learned.

I am passionate about follow up and accountability. Why you may ask? Because so many people invest an entire day on their professional development but do not apply the learning past the next day or next week without a support around them. Change doesn't happen in a day and it doesn't happens without practice and discipline.

If you change your beliefs about a subject, you can change your thinking and if you change your thinking, you can change your behaviors.  Results and change take root when our daily behaviors are our new habits.  The problem is that this change is hard without proper coaching, support, and accountability by others who care about you.   Care about you enough to tell you the truth that is! Continue reading

The Summer of Clarity – Accountability, Leadership, and YOU!

Accountability is a hot topic right now amongst my colleagues and clients.  Leaders are sometimes the worst at being accountable to their personal and professional growth.  Think about it.  When was the last time you were so honest with yourself that you had that urgent feeling to make a real change?

How long did it last? Continue reading