Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Accountability Leadership: A Catalyst for Change – Dianne Worrall @DiWorrall

Accountability Leadership: A Catalyst for Change

Accountability Leadership was inspired by a professional “epiphany” I experienced in my first senior executive post as an HR Director of a large government organisation.

Soon after I took up the role of HR Director, it became clear that we were heading downhill fast on the delivery of a major business initiative. The crux of the problem was not our business competence. We were meeting our personal goals and objectives as always – yet the project was still at risk.  Rather, it was the quality of our interactions that was letting us down. Our failure as an executive team to hold one another accountable was setting up our entire organisation to fail.

With our professional reputations at stake, we had no intention of letting the project go bad. So I worked with my fellow executives through specific actions to improve our personal accountability to one another as a leadership team. As a result, we managed to turn a pending loss into a remarkable profit.

We realised that accountability was something we couldn’t delegate. But much to our surprise, our new approach to accountability went viral. The employees in our respective divisions started to intuitively follow suit, modelling our new behaviours.

I found this early accountability lesson one of the most profound of my career, and a personal catalyst for change.  I have since developed a personal and professional mantra about what I see as the number-one issue that makes or breaks leadership performance today: Accountability for outcomes, performance, and results.

That mantra goes like this:

“The degree to which you have developed the capacity to hold your organisation and its people accountable for the delivery of results is directly proportional to your capacity to either build–or haemorrhage–value from your organisation.”

Inspired by that early experience, I developed an enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge relating to the new science of accountability (which you can read more about in my new book, Accountability Leadership).

In my experience, the problem is that we have adopted the habit of using accountability as a tool of negativity – focussing on short-sighted measures of progress and wielding punishment when things go wrong. We have lost sight of the true meaning of accountability as a positive tool to help things go right. To transform cultural habits from low accountability to high accountability can actually be surprisingly straightforward. All you need to do is tackle one cause or one conversation at a time… and magic happens.  But the secret is to focus your attention on changing just a few keystone habits that will make the greatest difference.

That’s where Accountability Leadership comes in, representing a virtually untapped goldmine of opportunity for personal and business transformation using the new science of accountability.

Post by Di Worrall

Award-winning Business Transformation & Strategy Consultant, Best Selling Author, Executive Coach

Find out more about the missing link between high performance and high accountability in Di Worrall’s #1 Amazon best selling book: Accountability Leadership – How Great Leaders Build a High Performance Culture of Accountability and Responsibility (2013) at

Di Worrall

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Genre - Business, Leadership, Workplace Behaviour, Human Resources, Executive Coaching

Rating – PG

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