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.
Coming home my mom calmly said after the day's debrief that my room wasn't clean and to go pick it up – that was my first verbal warning. Ten days later, I did it again, and again sweetly, she said I was to be in my room for ten minutes. A week later I missed Scooby Doo and thought to myself, “Oh my gosh next time I will be grounded for one hour!”
I had a clean room for the rest of my days in her house!
The habit has stayed with me for life.
To this day I am impressed that my mom had that kind of discipline and focus to hold me accountable like that. I use this example often with managers because I want them to care about their people's success in regard to training with clarity and calmness.
Accountability is a win/win for everyone and it requires honestly caring enough to be courageous and tell the truth.
Love it or hate it, good or bad consequence – what's an impactful lesson you've have had with accountability?