“Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the ME for the WE.” – Phil Jackson, former NBA coach with 11 Championship titles, most in the NBA.
Phil Jackson is one of the best coaches the NBA has ever seen. He managed Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest player in the world, and convinced him to embrace selflessness on the court (even if it meant losing a scoring title). Coach Jackson forged successful teams out of players with varying abilities by getting them to trust one another and perform in sync. He also inspired Dennis Rodman and other “uncoachable” personalities to devote themselves to something larger than themselves. He’s even responsible for transforming Kobe Bryant from a rebellious teenager to a mature leader of a championship team. He did a lot of this by building teams based on players trusting each other.
This is much like Peer-2-Peer Accountability which involves an environment where coworkers hold each other to a high standard of work—encouraging each other with constructive feedback and checking in with each other about reaching goals. It’s an action best built on the kind of trust Phil Jackson used to develop his successful teams. As a leader, look to channel your inner Phil Jackson. Coworkers trusting each other, and holding one other accountable starts with the leader as a role model.
The following ten traits are vital to accountability and trust and are critical to see coming from the top down.
Many times, people pay a lot more attention to how you make them feel than the actual words that come from your mouth. Of course, you should watch how you word things, and being authentic is more important. You are gaining trust with your employees when you aren’t hiding anything from them.
Exhibiting humility shows your respect for others. You will not do everything perfectly or always know all the answers, but admitting this goes a long way with your team. After all, we are all human, and it’s one of the few things we all share in common at the core.
Everyone has reasons for doing what they do, but no one likes to hear excuses, so avoid using them. Instead, focus on how you can make the current situation better for your team. This type of leadership helps your team focus on the future and not feel defeated.
Along the same lines, look for ways to make yourself better. Could you learn to be a better leader? Speak more confidently or compassionately? The most significant investment you can ever make is in improving yourself. Go read a business book and then share what you learned with your team. By doing so, you will inspire your employees to do the same.
A great leader knows how to recognize a little problem before it becomes a bigger one and takes action to prevent it from happening. Don’t look the other way when you see an issue brewing. Be willing to give others tough love when needed. One way to do this is to keep your critical interactions with employees private and not to embarrass anyone in front of the whole team.
Do you know one of the best ways to win the hearts of your employees, or anyone for that matter? Listen to them. You cannot learn anything if you’re always the one talking. Provide proof that you are listening. As you may have experienced yourself before, it can be frustrating to share feedback with someone and never get any real response that the person was listening to you.
Much like not finding excuses for your wrongdoings, do not hesitate to take the hit when you know you are wrong. As a father myself, I must own up to when I’ve gotten angry or brushed off an important matter. It goes a long way with your employees when they see their leader ‘take the hit’ for something they did.
One of the most important qualities you can add to your team is having integrity. Keep appointments and do not cancel at the last minute unless it’s a true emergency. Show you value other people’s time. Following through on small (and big) commitments is critical. When you do this, you will see your team take the same urgency you do in following through.
When you are genuine about helping others, you show that their concerns become greater than your own. Become the heart of your organization, and the leader your staff knows they can turn to for compassion, support, and some tough love when they need it.
Making sure you return all your correspondence is another way of exhibiting integrity. When you ignore someone’s request for information, it is subtly telling that person you don’t really care about their needs. A straightforward way to be respectful is to address any correspondence in a timely manner. If you must hire an administrative person to keep up because you receive so many calls, texts, and emails, it’s worth the extra investment.
In my book, Balanced Accountability, I talk about the 3Ps: Personal Accountability, Positive Accountability, and Performance Accountability. When it comes to Personal Accountability, you need first to hold yourself accountable as a leader. With Positive Accountability, showing positivity (for example, rewarding a job well done) inspires your team to work hard and makes them want to keep working for you. In Performance Accountability, it’s about creating a visible scoreboard to measure performance. It also involves coaching them without severely penalizing them for their mistakes. Michael Jordan missed more than 9,000 shots in his career. Do you think Phil Jackson would severely punish Jordan every time he missed a shot?
Peer-2-Peer Accountability starts with you as their leader. When your team sees you living up to these standards, they’re inspired to improve themselves and perform better.
When you’re a leader, you should do just that: lead, not manage. Many years ago, we didn’t inspire our workforce in this way, and I would have been called crazy for promoting this kind of personal touch and positivity from the top down. Thankfully, that attitude is changing. Accountability is the best way to get a negative workplace back on track to positivity and winning. Implement these characteristics and traits and see how the energy changes quickly at your car wash location.
Hernani Alves is an entrepreneur, business accountability expert, Amazon best-selling author, and speaker that helps leaders build world-class teams. In his book, “Balanced Accountability,” Hernani reveals the framework needed to improve workplace accountability by winning hearts to maximize performance.
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Do you realize how common it is to have workplace conflict, even when working remotely? Recently (2021), My Perfect Resume surveyed 1,000 U.S. workers about the work conflicts they’ve experienced while working remotely. They found that “Eighty-one percent of remote professionals have experienced workplace conflict.”
First, what do we mean when we use the word “conflict?” The study found that lack of teamwork and general stress about work were common culprits. This was followed closely by rude behavior. Finally, lack of honesty, clash of values, and false accusations round out people’s troubles at work. This will poison organizations long term for their ability to maximize performance and improving workplace culture.
The majority of conflict people experience when working remotely is shown to be with coworkers. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said that it was with a peer when they had an altercation at work. What about battling with your boss? Nineteen percent reported they had the most issues with the manager directly over them.
Perhaps most disturbingly, thirty-six percent of those surveyed said their bosses had been too aggressive in their text messages with them. Almost seventy percent of that group claim their bosses have actually cursed at them in those messages. This is one of the fastest way to disengage employees and to motivate them to leave the organization.
In the end, when confronted with conflict, many (about half) try to talk things out to resolve the issues. But, nearly a quarter just leave the matter alone and never address it, which could foster more significant problems in the long run. They are also losing one in five employees to a work conflict as they end up just quitting over the issue.
Dale Carlsen, CEO of Ticket to Dream and a great mentor of mine, shared some advice that I continue to use to this day. He attributes his success to his father, Paul’s advice, “Surround yourself with great people, treat them well and make everyone successful.”
It’s about building up your team when they’re down and celebrating their wins for the hard-fought victories that they have accomplished. This mindset is key to making people successful. Not always happy, but successful. For example: when I tell my kids to finish their chores, I’m teaching them to complete a job and to do it right. They may not be happy about it at that moment, but the habits they form now will lead them to success later. I do this for them out of love.
Accountability is a powerful tool, and to be effective, it has to be rooted in love. Additionally to motivate your employees to become greater than themselves. I had many people in my life that went out of their way to mentor and guided me towards developing my success.
The 3P’s of Balanced Accountability are techniques to improve yourself as a leader and create your dream team tribe that will follow you everywhere you go.
It’s based on the concept that at their core, employees want to follow their bosses and be able to look up to them. Because of this, supervisors and those in charge must lead by example and be a guideline of how to handle yourself when working remotely. They also need to set the tone for the organization and not start any conflict themselves. This takes developing self-awareness on a manager’s part. As your team, what you can do “more” and “less” of as a leader for them.
Positivity is how good managers became great leaders. Actions speak louder than words. It’s about being positive when there are great things going on, but it’s also about being realistic when there is hard work to do. Creating a more positive work environment reduces turnover (remember twenty percent of employees reported quitting overwork conflict). Leaders must own this and start looking for small wins to celebrate. Then magnify those small wins to create a team that wants to repeat that same action.
This area is the one most think of when actually using the word; accountability. It’s about coaching your employees to better work performance. When they are winning at work, you win too, and so do the rest of the employees. This ties into conflict as well because you can coach your employees on how to best deal with conflict. For example, you can encourage employees to stop and address conflicts as soon as they arise rather than letting them fester or gossiping about them. Conduct one on ones remotely with your team at least once a month and limit yourself from ever rescheduling this meeting. If you do reschedule, your team will only see that there are other things more important than spending time with them.
To lead is to motivate, and the 3Ps of Balanced Accountability are designed to help you guide your employees toward improvement and reliability. You’ll find that showing genuine loyalty to your team can influence the way they perform. It will prompt them to do better. You’ll win their hearts and raise their standards all in one go. Putting the 3Ps in action and making others successful, is how you go from having just an average team to creating a high-performing dream team that will follow you anywhere.
Hernani Alves is a business accountability expert, Amazon best-selling author, and speaker that helps leaders build world-class teams. In his book, Balanced Accountability, Hernani reveals the framework needed to improve accountability in the workplace by winning hearts to maximize performance.
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