On Leaders and Accountability: Character, Courage and Competency


Lee Ellis considers the importance of accountability when it comes to leadership.

Even though there are 14 lessons in my book, Leading with Honor, three foundational attributes rise to the top—character, courage, and competency. To put it another way, the best leaders push through their selfishness and fear to skillfully do the right thing even when it’s painful. And part of doing the right thing is being accountable for one’s actions.

With those attributes in mind, let’s reflect on this whole idea of accountability, and like most evaluations it’s good to begin with ourselves; that’s taking on the hard part first, isn’t it? Here’s a checklist to help you get started –

  •     Find practical ways to hold yourself accountable either through people, processes, and/or principles.
  •     Evaluate  the promises and commitments that you’ve  made that you need to follow through on.
  •     Review the realistic consequences of your failures and mistakes—how it affects you and others.
  •     As a leader, consider in what ways that you’re slipping as a leader by not holding others accountable.
  •     Make it clear to others the specifics of your expectations and that they’re accountable to you or their immediate leader.
  •     Share the consequences that will come if they don’t uphold their responsibilities.

Who is going to hold you accountable to keep your commitments?

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