A Manager’s Guide to Holding Your Team Accountable

If you struggle with holding people to account, try this.

Accountability involves answering probing questions about our commitments. Being held to account for our decisions, actions, and results can drive high performance — driving our diligence, sharpening our focus on what matters, and increasing our self-awareness.

Most of us report to someone. For CEOs, it’s a board of directors. For others, it’s their manager or their coach. But despite all our reporting structures, real accountability is elusive for many teams.

Why Accountability Slips

The main reason accountability isn’t held is because holding people to account feels confrontational for both the report and the manager.

For the report, answering a barrage of questions can feel like an inquisition. Top performers often spend time predicting potential questions and preparing answers in advance, just to soothe this discomfort. If you do this, you’re actually holding yourself accountable — great work.

For the managers, holding someone to account drives anxiety too.

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About me

Hi, I’m Dave Bailey and I coach tech CEOs from Series A to pre-IPO. Find out more about my coaching programs and podcast.

A Manager’s Guide to Holding Your Team Accountable was originally published in The Founder Coach on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.