Video: Learn How to Walk the Accountability Pathway

Posted February 8, 2016, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Achieving large-scale results requires commitments from many different types of leaders – and accountability for the commitments that are made. When leaders get busy or competing priorities arise, commitments made may not be completed. The Accountability Pathway is a tool that results-based leaders can use to check for accountability together, have honest conversations about the state of their plans and refocus their efforts to get the results they seek. The pathway also helps leaders stay in High Action and High Alignment, a key concept of results-based leadership development.

In the following video, Jolie Bain Pillsbury, a member of the Casey results-based leadership development faculty who developed the Accountability Pathway, explains the eight stages of the pathway and how to identify where you might be:

  • Unaware
  • Blame Others
  • “I Can’t” Excuses
  • Wait and Hope
  • Acknowledge Reality
  • Own Action Commitment
  • Find Solutions
  • Make It Happen

The first four categories are common, unaccountable states. Being “unaware” means that the leader literally didn’t know — or forgot — that he or she was supposed to do something. And, often, even when leaders do know they are supposed to do something, they find reasons not to do it — from blaming others to saying that they are too busy to waiting and hoping that if they procrastinate long enough, the task will go away.

But, Pillsbury notes, just identifying these stages helps a leader move to the “accountable” side of the Accountability Pathway, starting with an acknowledgment of the current state of things — an acknowledgment that paves the way for an assessment of how the work can get done. The pathway can help leaders overcome the shame they may feel at being late on a task, avoiding a commitment or being overwhelmed by work by focusing on figuring out ways to get the work done, she says. Often, this involves collaborating with others on a strategy to “make it happen,” the final stage of the pathway.

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