Culture of Accountability

A culture of accountability makes a good organization great and a great organization unstoppable.- Henry Evans 

In this blog post, I want to share with you Chapter 1 of this amazing book- Winning with Accountability.

In Evans book, Winning with Accountability, he shares how winning begins with accountability.  However, accountability has a very nasty perception and reputation.  Accountability is often punitive and comes up when something goes wrong or someone does something wrong.  It is often a pointing of the fingers and a blame game.

You cannot sustain success without accountability.  Period.  It is a vital part of winning and success.

Look at the definition of accountability as defined by Webster's Dictionary-

"the quality or state of being accountable; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one's actions."

This does not sound punitive, right?  It is a positive statement- obligation...willingness...responsibility...

Evans says it is necessary for us to reframe accountability into a more positive mindset.  It is important that we view accountability as the secret sauce within our schools that can create or prevent us from reaching success. It shouldn't bring about fear, stress, or even those "punitive measures."

Accountability is not necessarily about holding everyone else accountable.  It is about each and every person holding themselves accountable for the results.  It is also about having a willingness to be held accountable by others.

So how do we change the perception of accountability to being more of a positive tone?  

It is all achieved by front-loading accountability.  Front loading accountability means the sender (leader, principal, director, coordinator) has to provide specifics, including clear expectations.  Both parties are responsible - the sender and receiver.  The receiver can ask questions for clarification or restate the message.  This two-way communication style builds trust and sets the road to success.  

For example, in my years as a principal, my superintendent would give an assignment or task to be completed.  She would give suggestions on how it should be handled, completed, and may even tell us how it should look.  The expectations were clear up front.  The specifics were provided.  There's no reason for it not to be completed on time or to the expectations being set.

Front-loading accountability helps to:
  • increase performance
  • allocate resources
  • increase employee job satisfaction
  • improve results
Taking this information and applying it to our school setting is very easy.  I know we need to change the mindset of accountability to be more positive.  Without it, we could possibly all be working on the wrong things or have a lack of direction and purpose. #keepyoureyesontheprize

His book, Winning with Accountability, is tended for business but it is a great read in education or even for personal inspiration too.  I truly think I can take every chapter and apply it to our role as school leaders.

Stay tuned for the next chapter!

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