Driving Business Results Through Accountability Reframing

Leading From Without

In celebration of our tenth year and with the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now in its ninth printing) we are offering you some of our best insights and practices to create an Accountability Culture in your workplace.


Hi, I’m Henry Evans, founder of Dynamic Results and author of the best-selling business book “Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations.” Today we’re talking about what we call, Leading From Without™.

A few days ago I was working with a $7 billion dollar client organization, specifically one of their senior leaders. He opened up to me and explained that after exceeding all targets set for them last year, as a reward, their global office had given them even more aggressive targets this year. His team didn’t see how they could hit these targets and they asked him to explain how they could. He told me that he didn’t have the answer, didn’t see the solution and didn’t know what to do.

I went in to this discussion armed with the information that he was very happy with the team he had and felt that he worked with smart and talented people.

Leaning on my emotional intelligence training, I asked him how he felt about being vulnerable? Could he tell them that while he was committed to hitting the targets, he didn’t have the answer either and wanted to hear their ideas about how working together? Could he simply ask them, “How can we do this?”

In short, that is exactly what he did. His team immediately switched from worrying about the problem to working on a solution. Our client lead with transparency, not arrogance. He lead with honesty and a request for help, rather than trying to “lead from the front” and have all the answers.

We feel that relationships are built and strengthened in moments of vulnerability like this example. We prove that when we admit to our team that we don’t see the way – while still demonstrating a commitment to finding a solution. Sometimes, you can be a leader by leading from without (having all the answers).

We encourage you to give this “leading from without” a try. This can work regardless of your position or title. If dealing with a boss who expects you to have all the answers, try saying something like “I feel confident you see how to do this, and right now, I don’t. Would you help me think it through?”

We are speaking more about leading from anywhere on the org chart in our upcoming book, “Step Up, Lead in Six Moments that Matter”. As always, we appreciate your time and attention. For additional ideas, follow me on twitter: @HenryJEvans

For more information on how to bring the method to your team or about any of the services we offer, contact Ede Ericson Cardell, Director of Operations at [email protected] or 214-742-1403 x 106.


Want to know more about creating accountable cultures? Take our free assessment and buy the book here. http://www.dynamicresults.com/book/

As always, we welcome your comments. Like us on Facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

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