The process of accountability need not be a process of fear and intimidation. A feared organization often builds traits of failure, and it lacks trust and faith in the system, which works counter to the principles needed for growth. A leader who can give the right feedback, set the right goals, in a constructive way will lead their organization to a win. This has been proven repeatedly in leaders who are ruthlessly consistent.
Michael Canic, author of Ruthless Consistency has a lot to say about this topic through his book. Let’s dive in.
Can you explain why you emphasize holding people constructively accountable?
Most leaders struggle with holding people accountable. We need to reframe how we think about accountability. You can be a kind, caring, compassionate person, and still hold people constructively accountable. Why is it constructive? Because the goal isn’t to berate, belittle, or bully people, the goal is to help them improve, to perform better.
Why is it essential that leaders need to value people?
As a manager, it took me a while to learn that you hire employees, yet human beings show up to work. When you consistently show that you respect them, trust them, and care about them as individuals, then you engage them at a much deeper level. That’s when you get, not just mandatory effort, but discretionary effort.
You write about how commitment is what drives everything. Wouldn’t every leader say they’re committed?
Sure, but what I’ve found is there’s a big difference between saying you’re committed and being committed. It’s the difference between the will to win and the will to do what it takes to win. After reading Ruthless Consistency most leaders will realize they haven’t been as committed as they thought they were or need to be.
You have a PhD in the psychology of human performance and you helped coach a college football team to a national championship. How did those experiences help shape your views?
My doctoral studies provided a solid foundation, relevant to understanding performance on many levels. Since that time, as a college football coach, a corporate leader, and a consultant to CEOs across North America, the principles and practices of ruthless consistency have been forged by hammering away at a wide range of real-world challenges. That’s why they work.
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