Executives and their leadership teams do three big things. They build a strategic vision, they mobilise an organisation to execute that vision, and they guide an organisation through and around implementation challenges that occur in making that vision a reality. In pursuing this threefold agenda, leaders actively cultivate a context that both engages others and promotes their accountability—this includes junior colleagues, peers, and senior colleagues.
To address today’s pressing challenges most leaders and their executive teams have crafted strategic visions for how to win the hearts and minds of customers and secure profitable growth. While many have confidence in the vision, they have much less in its execution. Many executives worry that their organisations will not successfully execute the plans needed to make the strategic vision a reality. They foresee implementation challenges.
People will have to do new things or familiar things differently. They will also need to drive results within tight timelines and budgets while negotiating the challenges of working with global and often remote teams.
- To succeed, people and teams will have to:
- Exert high levels of discretionary effort to achieve results
- Ensure that commitments are clear so that one has the ability to follow through on them successfully
- Persist in the face of setbacks
- Respond effectively to others who have not honoured a commitment
- Nimbly adjust plans to deal with emerging challenges
- Admit mistakes to keep an initiative on track while preserving credibility
- Advocate for changes in policies or practices that are interfering with an organisational value or goal
Executives worry that these behaviours will not occur and that strategic initiatives are at risk. Many of us recognise that these practices are the behavioural outcomes of an engaged and accountable workforce.
Find out what great leaders do by examining the link between accountability and performance in the whitepaper ‘Creating a culture of engagement and accountability’ [PDF].