By Steve Watkins Posted 10/15/2009 06:14 PM ET
Hold people accountable and you’ll get more productivity and profit. Here’s how:
• Define it. Make sure your people know what you mean.
Accountability comes down to people doing what they said they would in the time frame they set, says Linda Finkle, founder and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based executive coaching firm Incedo Group.
Barring that, they should level with you: They can’t meet the deadline; time to renegotiate.
• Hand over the reins. As you hold people to their word, let them make the decisions that go into hitting their goals, says Gary Cohen, author of “Just Ask Leadership.”
Help them along, but don’t force them to do it one way and then blame them if it doesn’t work.
“You have to realize, ‘It’s their accountability, and I have to trust them,'” Cohen said.
• Admit you don’t know. Successful leaders learn to ask questions, Cohen says. They don’t need to feel they have all the answers.