Business Coach Says Accountability Is Essential

Moment With A Business Coach: Hold Employees Accountable

I frequently have to employ the candid business coach strategy of group texting employees who show up late, employees not in dress code, employees who simply do not show up at all, employees who bring a low energy level, employees who are creating a negative environment and mojo, and a whole list of other issues. Group texting both the employee who isn’t following guidelines and any other managers or direct reports immediately brings transparency to the issue. This is not a business practice that is warm and fuzzy, and it typically results in a list of excuses and frustrations directed at the management and leadership team. Remember, employee issues and inconsistencies must be addressed candidly and head-on. False kindness and tolerance for laziness will infect your culture. By addressing the issue directly with the employee, you open up a dialogue to deal with this failure to meet expectations. One of two things will happen: 1) You will clearly identify who needs to be cut from the team, or 2) The employee will make a 180° change in behavior. This is not the most fun part of business, but it is one of the most necessary in order to maintain the culture of the company.

Create a Business Coach Culture of Accountability

If are not 100% obsessed with delivering on every promise you have made to your customers, then your entire workforce will quickly learn through observation that they really won’t be held accountable either. To make your life 2% easier, I have provided 10 proven methods to creature a company culture of accountability.

  1. Assign every task in writing as you conclude all meetings. By assigning tasks in the meetings, you are creating transparency and patterning the behavior you want the leaders you are developing to emulate. When you end a meeting you need to say, “Ok, so Team America, here is quick recap of the action items that each person is taking.” Then go on to list out specific action items for each team member with corresponding deadlines for completion.

For an example of what a completed agenda with action items looks like, visit:

  1. Follow-up on all assigned action items during each meeting. Meetings where the entire team is gathered are great times to follow up on assigned tasks and action steps. I love to give my team members autonomy and let them work without my Darth-Vader-esque presence constantly looming over them. Giving your team members one week to fully accomplish their tasks allows them to set their priorities and work at their own pace. However, when someone does not complete an action item that they committed to, be prepared to get INTENSE.
  1. Follow-up on all assigned action items while working off the assumption that these items were not completed in an accurate and timely manner. This is simply a safeguard to protect your brain from exploding when you find that tasks have been left incomplete. It’s dangerous to assume your people are being effective and 100% honest with you.

It’s very important that you invest the time to circle back with the members of your team who were assigned specific action steps. You must set the business coach standard in this regard. When you complete a task, it’s very important to tell the members of your team who are dependent upon your action item to complete their own. If you do miss a deadline, be up front with your team members, “Team America, I have yet to get the task completed, however I am grinding through it and action items 1, 2 and 3 should be done by April 24th.”

Mystic Statistic: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75% of employees steal from the workplace and that most do so repeatedly.

  1. Be prompt all of the time. As business coach leaders when we are on time, our team will feel as though we truly value them and that we are an honest and accountable person. When we are constantly late, our team members will believe that we don’t care about them because we are holding them to a higher standard than we hold ourselves accountable for. My friend, you and I must come to grips with the fact that our time is not more valuable than our team member’s time.

“A man has no right to occupy another man’s time unnecessarily.” -John D. Rockefeller (American industrialist and philanthropist)

  1. Work on improving your reputation and credibility every day. Unfortunately, it takes months and months for you and I to establish ourselves as a source of wisdom, honesty, credibility, and accountability for our teams, but it takes just moments to lose all credibility. You and I must hold ourselves accountable to perform at a higher level and meet a higher standard.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” -Warren Buffett (American investor and philanthropist, and one of the most successful investors in the world)

  1. It is very important that you are candid about what you cannot get done or do not need to get done. You do not want the people on your team to lose respect for you as a leader or business coach simply because you did not have the courage to speak up and say that you do not have the time needed to get an action item done or that the action item is simply not a priority based upon the other items on your to-do list. Often a member of your team will suggest a bad or unexecutable idea during a meeting that they will somehow try to assign to you. If you know that the idea is a bad idea, then state openly that you will not do it.

Story Time: Years ago, a member of our team suggested that it would mean a lot if the ownership and leadership of our company (me and Doctor Zoellner) would personally call every customer and thank them for using our products and services after every purchase. This employee then went on to state that it would mean even more to our customers if the ownership and leadership of our company were willing to invest the time to personally update our company Pinterest account every day to be more “authentic.” Although this idea might have merit for many small business owners, I am a man with 38 chickens, five kids, nine businesses, and a father with ALS. I don’t have the time to complete those tasks on an ongoing basis and even if I did, I am 100% sure that those tasks would not allow me to put my skills and talents to their highest and best use. Thus, I told the person during the meeting, “I’m not going to do that.” I knew that the employee who made the suggestion did not have the personal level of diligence to complete the work either, based on her flaky and half-baked history of getting things done. Thus, when she volunteered to do the work herself, I said, “You already have a lot on your plate and I would like to see you consistently complete the items you’ve already been assigned – for 90 days in a row now – before I’ll have the confidence to give you something else to manage on top of your current workload.” I said this because I value a culture of accountability.


December 11th, 2017


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