Accountability is one of the areas of dysfunction mentioned in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. If you haven’t heard Alan discuss this, check out this video – it goes over the dysfunctions in a quick and compact way.
In order for us to achieve the best results, Lencioni points out that first we must navigate well through Trust, Conflict, Commitment, and Accountability. The best teams rely on each other when it comes to Accountability.
One way Alan and I keep track of things is through Google Sheets. For those of you new to Gmail applications, Google Sheets is a free service that allows you to create spreadsheets and house them online. All edits are saved immediately, and you can share your sheets with others.
I use a Google Sheet to keep track of my hours worked, and have shared it with Alan. This way, we can both see what I am working on. I simply enter the date, the time I have spent on each activity, and a brief description of what I did during that time.
I also maintain a column that helps me keep track of if I need more time for any one thing in particular. This is helpful to me when prioritizing my efforts throughout the week.
Example of how my Time Sheet is set up:
Aside from tracking my time, Alan and I seek to be accountable to one another in many other ways. Early on, Alan mentioned one thing that “Group Dynamic does around here.” He said, “Group Dynamic is always early – it’s just what we do.”
Thus, I have made it a point to be early to each of our commitments, whether it’s a presentation or a one-on-one and Alan does the same.
Reminder e-mails still get sent and received, and that is another way we remain accountable to each other. It is because we have a good hold on Trust, Conflict, and Commitment, that Accountability works for us.
If you have not yet read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – take this opportunity to nab the book for free.
I know some managers hesitate to keep track of details, or get into the weeds about accountability. Many times, it’s a fear of conflict, or a resistance to “micro-managing.” But employees generally want to do a good job, and don’t mind a bit finding a painless way to document that, as long as they don’t feel like they’re under the microscope.
It’s worth noting that this system was developed by Ashleigh herself. My holiday wish for you is that all your direct reports are as accountable and proactive as she is. 🙂