Too often, policies, procedures, and bureaucracy can slow necessary changes to a crawl, and negatively affect a company’s bottom line.
Leadership expert Gordon Tredgold has written a new book in which he shares his four essential principals of leadership. Using the acronym of FAST (for Focus, Accountability, Simplicity, and Transparency), the book explores how Tredgold used human nature in his favor, turning around failing projects, under-performing departments, and money-losing companies.
In any aspect of our lives, personal or professional, focus can be summarized in one theme, one meaning, and one word: “what.” Focus is all about clarifying the questions concerning what we’re doing. The only way we can align ourselves with our purpose is by being aware of, believing in, and ensuring that this “what” is what we want to be striving toward. The most important steps of a journey aren’t the quickest or heaviest steps; they are the ones that are pointed in the right direction. Tredgold recommends that we constantly ask ourselves these questions, and that we be clear about the answers.
- What am I doing?
- What is my objective?
- What does success look like?
If focus concerns the “what” of our goal, accountability refers to the “who.” Failures occur because it is never clarified who is accountable for actually getting the job done. Whether this is a personal goal or a professional endeavor, we are the leaders of ourselves and our businesses. So the “who” is, first and foremost, us, and these are the key questions.
- Who is accountable for doing the work?
- Does that person know he or she is accountable?
- How will I ensure that he or she is held accountable?
- What are my expectations of the person who is accountable?
We can delegate responsibilities, but we should never shrug off our personal accountability. If we do, it’s typically under the harsh beam of failure, meaning that we are looking for someone to blame. Of course, this method is starkly counterintuitive to success and progress. It is the leader’s duty to ensure the success of the team, and the leader defines the culture of an organization. If we want that culture to be one where people accept accountability, we must lead by example.
For the rest of the post, check out the Intuit Fast Track blog.