When it comes to accountability for most of us, there is either accountable or not accountable. While this is true to a certain extent, it also points out a challenge that we have in determining the levels of accountability. At The Growth Factory, we use the Accountability Stairs model we created in 2016 to help show the journey of accountability.
We like the thought of a staircase because stairs carry us from one level to the next and our path for improved accountability takes us up a level in performance every time, and we get better at it. As you can see the stairs travel from “Unaware” to “Make it Happen.” We see the transition take place from victim to accountability between the steps of “Wait and Hope” and “Acknowledge Reality.” So, for today let’s discuss these four steps in a bit more detail.
Unaware – This step speaks to that naïve state of mind that lives in the average teenager that believe if they only answer you with a shrug of the shoulder and the words “I have no idea how that happened” they have escaped consequences as they hold the broken parts or pieces in their hands. They think claiming to know nothing about it will enable them to have no responsibility as we all know they are very wrong. On the opposite end of the spectrum is “Make it Happen.”
Make it Happen – These individuals not only make sure that they are on top of all that needs to happen in their area of responsibility, but they will also look to help others to make sure the department or team meet their commitments. Team members like this look ahead to see what is coming that may have an effect on the outcomes and then move quickly to remove those obstacles from themselves or others. These employees are the best of the best and can carry your team to great places, so it is critical to recognize and reward them appropriately for keeping them happy.
Then we have our transition point. Wait and Hope – When someone is at this step, they are almost ready to take the responsibility but seem to find a way to stop short of that and look for help to finish the job and it can come in several forms. This person might need the 11th -hour help from the “Make it Happen” employee to get the job done. This is the 6th grader that hopes for the snow day instead of studying like they should and in both of these examples they can be saved from time to time and that fuels the behavior. To contrast, this, Acknowledge Reality finishes the effort and knows that the person
in the mirror is the only one that is responsible and capable to make sure the work gets done. At this step, we realize that whatever is happening we must acknowledge that reality and determine what we need to do to complete the task to the specs promised when promised. This awareness that kicks in at this step is the game changer to determine what accountability means.
The Accountability Stairs allow you to see yourself and your team at any point and determine where they are and what they may need to move to the next level. We all will move back and forth from time to time, but we should see our progress heading in the right direction for success.
Interested in learning more about accountability or maybe your team could use a refresher in the form of a professional development class. If you feel the need to boost accountability and the understanding of where you and your team might be on the staircase reach out to The Growth Factory, and we will Make it Happen!!