Scorecards and scoreboards are necessary to track results. And as coaches, they’re a key part of our process to hold our clients accountable for results. But the most effective way to get those results is to intentionally create a “culture of accountability.”
With the right culture, every person in the company will be self-motivated to deliver outstanding results for their internal partners and external customers. The right culture will foster a spirit of collaboration and camaraderie that keeps the whole company on point and on target to hit the annual goals.
Culture of Accountability
By executing on the following 4 key ideas, you’ll strengthen your company’s own culture of accountability. You’ll see excuses go away and productivity go up. And you’ll be that much closer to making BIG happen. As Jim Collins says, “the way you build your culture is with your people choices.” So, before you do anything, make sure you have the absolute best people on the team. See here for a few ideas on how to do that.
With the right team in place, you can now focus on executing the 4 keys below.
1. Set high expectations.
When John F. Kennedy pointed to the moon in 1962, the entire United States mobilized to follow his lead. That’s what great leaders do: they express a vision so bold and so BIG that others are inspired to rally around it.
If your employees feel like they’re working for a complacent company that’s content being good enough, they’re going to live down to those low expectations. By contrast, thinking BIG and pointing to the stars is energizing. It makes workers feel like they can accomplish anything if they push themselves. It leads to a culture that grooms its own triple-A talent. And it creates the kind of employees who are empowered to take your business to surprising and innovative new places, leaving the rest of the industry bobbing in your wake.
2. Establish a meeting rhythm.
Setting those kinds of expectations starts with an effective meeting rhythm that establishes what your goals are, how you’re going to achieve them, and when key short-term targets need to be hit. These meetings don’t exist in their own departmental bubbles. They should build off and reinforce each other, culminating in a culture of accountability that permeates every level of your business.
Here’s a simple meeting rhythm outline that you can expand on and tailor to your company’s needs:
- Daily: The leader of each management team huddles with their team for 5-10 minutes to touch base.
- Weekly: The CEO holds a working session with the leadership team to discuss and review progress on key strategic initiatives.
- Monthly: Have your leadership team update its staff on the state of the business. How are we doing? What can we do better? Which employees deserve recognition for going above and beyond?
- Quarterly: A detailed planning session with your leadership team. What went right this quarter? What went wrong? What have we learned? What new goals should we set for the quarter, and how can we ensure they are aligned with our annual plan?
- Annually: Go offsite with your leadership team for a focused, intense session where you review the previous year, set the objectives and initiatives for the coming year, and review each leader on your team for ways to improve performance.
This series of meetings ensures that there’s no place for mediocrity to hide in your company. When you meet daily and report on your HOTs weekly, everyone has to show results. Including the CEO.
3. Focus on your 5 key responsibilities.
The sooner you accept that you can’t do everything yourself, the sooner you’ll position your company to achieve your goals.
As CEO, you have five responsibilities: establish the company’s vision, watch the cash, hire the best people, cultivate key relationships, and continue to learn everything you can about your business and the competitive environment.
Any task that doesn’t fall under one of those five headings needs to be delegated to someone who can hit the bullseye without your handholding. If you’ve really hired the best people, that shouldn’t be a problem. And if that person isn’t the best, the accountability provided by your meeting rhythm will make it obvious that you need to find a replacement ASAP.
4. Reward, don’t punish.
You want your employees to feel pressure to perform. But there’s good pressure and bad pressure.
Bad pressure is fear-based. The employee who’s constantly worried about getting screamed at or losing his job is going to cut corners and put his own self-interest ahead of what’s best for your company. Managing by fear might work in the short-term, but it’s a killer in the long-term.
Good pressure brings out the best in your people. And if your culture of accountability is strong enough, good pressure is often self-motivated. Your people will want to exceed their targets because everyone else is. They’ll want to see the big scoreboard keep lighting up. They’ll want to work hard and earn the right to play hard after BIG successes. And they won’t be afraid to fail, because they’ll know your culture will allow them to learn and improve.
As three-time Super Bowl champion coach Bill Walsh says, “Few things offer greater return on less investment than praise — offering credit to someone in your organization who has stepped up and done the job.” A culture of accountability doesn’t just address mistakes. It celebrates wins, from the customer service rep who stayed late to help a major client all the way up to the leadership team that nailed an acquisition. As CEO, it’s up to you to set that positive tone, and show your employees how wins at every level of the organization are building up to something BIG.
About Mark Moses
Mark Moses is the Founding Partner of CEO Coaching International and the Amazon Bestselling author of Make Big Happen. His firm coaches over 185 of the world’s top high-growth entrepreneurs and CEO’s on how to dramatically grow their revenues and profits, implement the most effective strategies, become better leaders, grow their people, build accountability systems, and elevate their own performance. Mark has won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award and the Blue Chip Enterprise award for overcoming adversity. His last company ranked #1 Fastest-Growing Company in Los Angeles as well as #10 on the Inc. 500 of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. He has completed 12 full distance Ironman Triathlons including the Hawaii Ironman World Championship 5 times.
About CEO Coaching International
CEO Coaching International works with the world’s top entrepreneurs, CEOs, and companies to dramatically grow their business, develop their people, and elevate their overall performance. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 500 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 40 countries. Every coach at CEO Coaching International is a former CEO or President that has made big happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from $10 million to over $1 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight and nine figure exits. CEOs and entrepreneurs working with CEO Coaching International for three years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 66.4% during their time as a client, more than five times the national average. For more information, please visit: https://www.ceocoachinginternational.com