In my coaching sessions so far this week, the topic of Setting Expectations has come up several times. It usually starts with, “So-and-so didn’t do what I expected again.” My first question is almost always, “Are you sure he/she knew what you expected?” The typical answer is “I think so…I told him/her a couple times.” Does this pattern sound or look familiar to you? Are you getting tired of this conversation yet?
Take a minute to picture the following scenario. You’ve just arrived at the pool to relax with your family when out of nowhere a mother and father rush their young toddler up to the lifeguard on duty. The young girl is motionless and the panic is starting to build in the parents’ faces. Calmly and controlled, the lifeguard springs into action and within minutes a team of people descend to administer treatment to the young girl and bring her back to life.
Teaching people how to be accountable will take some time, but it is always worth it because they will improve for you on a steady basis long before they get to owning their accountability. The steps are fairly simple and straight-forward, just like most fundamentals of business. The key is to decide whether you want to be a great task master or a great leader.