Video: Learn How to Walk the Accountability Pathway

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

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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