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Leading with Accountability, Part One

Excerpt from Irish Director Magazine

Dynamic Results and Managing Partner, Henry Evans, were featured in the latest edition of Irish Director Magazine. The Dynamic Perspective brings you Part 1 of this article, self-generated accountability. Want to learn how this sort of accountability can improve your organization? Read our book.

Henry Evans has been working with C-suite executives and organizations for many years, through his Dallas based company Dynamic Results, and is author of Winning with Accountability, a practical step-by-step guide to help organizations improve performance by creating a strong culture of accountability. The book is required reading in many multinational corporations, and executive MBA courses. Winning with Accountability forms just a small part of a wider program he employs when working with CEOs, company presidents and other high-level executives, on introducing the accountability model into their organizations.

Indeed, in the move towards an accountable organization, Evans emphasizes the importance of the change coming from the top down, and has been known to turn away clients who do not understand the importance of this. “Top executives need to be demonstrating and exhibiting these accountability behaviors themselves, before they request it of anyone else in their organizations,” he says. The accountability method employed by Evans is, he explains, deceptively straightforward. “It has strong elements of emotional intelligence, but it’s intellectually simple and behaviorally complex. “When you’re in a leadership role, especially at the C-level, your people are emulating what you do, so you yourself are affecting the culture of the organization in every interaction, actively or passively,” he continues.

“Our theory is that, the higher you go on the organizational chart, the more responsibility you have and the less accountability you may have,” says Evans. “That’s because there are fewer and fewer people who are willing to hold you truly to account. What that means is if you want to be more effective at C-level you have to be more willing to self-generate accountability. And one of the best practices for self-generating accountability at that level is to proactively communicate your commitment to others, in a very unsolicited way.

“In my experience, when I first step in to work with a CEO or the people reporting to them – let’s say the upper two or three tiers on the organizational chart – they have this laundry list of things they should be doing, things that are critical to the company’s success, but that other people in the organization don’t know about.” Because these are driven and accomplished people, they have a very high confidence that they will execute around these things, says Evans. “While often they are executing around many of these things, without an exception so far in my career, I’ve found them also to be human, and to have things around which they are not. So one of the ways I think we’re able to help executives at that level perform at an even higher level is by getting them comfortable with the idea of letting other people know what they’re working on, and encouraging people to follow up with them on those things.”

It is not uncommon in organizations for people to have no idea what their leaders are doing much of the time, says Evans. “That’s a real liability people at the top sometimes have. They have great innovative ideas, they see the path and the journey that will get them to the execution of these ideas, but they’re not always as masterful at communicating those on a timeline, and in a way that brings everyone else along.”

Evans presents emotionally intelligent ways to instill accountability in C-level executives in part two, a healthy nervousness, which will be featured in the May Dynamic Perspective.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at moreinfo@dynamicresults.com.

Discover how self-generated accountability can improve your organization. Read our book.

 

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