I had a recent client session end with the team looking a little hangdog and expressing some disappointment. This was an EOS Vision Building™ 1 session, which includes getting the team’s Accountability Chart to about 90% complete and defining their Core Values.
When we dug into their disappointment, here’s what emerged:
- One team member was unhappy that in strengthening the Accountability Chart, they had surfaced a lot “Right Person/Right Seat” issues that needed to be solved.
- They were all unhappy that they were going to have to figure out how to make the Core Values they defined fit into the legacy Core Values imposed on them by their corporate parent.
So why were they disappointed?
Because they were holding themselves accountable for expectations that were not aligned with the day’s work.
They could have chickened out by failing to call out their Right Person/Right Seat concerns or by passively accepting rather than challenging their parent’s Core Values. If they had done either one of those things, then they should have been disappointed.
In fact, they did great work on both issues, and there was nothing more they could have done on either one at that moment. Make no mistake – this does not mean the bar is low. It just means not confusing a day’s work with a week’s work or a quarter’s work.
The Heart of Accountability
I’m confident that this team will confront and solve those issues over the coming weeks and months. But if they don’t, then they absolutely should be disappointed.
Setting the right expectations is not about showing everyone how high you can set the bar. It’s about creating clarity and alignment. What work do you intend to get done? What’s the time frame in which you intend to do it? Do the work and the time frame line up with each other?
That’s the very heart of accountability.