The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines

Episode 9: Why Accountability Isn't An Option

May 20, 2022 Scott Scully, Jeff Winters, Eric Watkins Season 1 Episode 9
The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines
Episode 9: Why Accountability Isn't An Option
Show Notes Transcript

As a leader, holding your team accountable helps define expectations, tie individuals into the organization's goals, and provide achievable expectations. Tune in to hear what our hosts have learned over the years about the best way to share feedback that addresses the real issues and encourages growth.

Eric Watkins:

Welcome to the grove show where we make it easier for entrepreneurs and leaders to grow their businesses. You'll hear from real leaders with real stories about their successes and failures. So you don't have to make the same mistakes. We won't break out textbooks or talk theory only raw stories from the front lines with actionable takeaways.

Unknown:

The gross show sponsored by Reggie are your outbound sales campaigns not driving the engagement you're looking for. Revenue leaders rely on reggie.ai to write high performing sales copy that cuts through the noise and books more meetings. Want to see how it works, head over to reggie.ai/grow show and learn how to put the power of best practices and AI into the hands of your sales team. Here's the next episode of the Grow Show.

Eric Watkins:

Welcome back to The Grove show. I'm here with my partners and grow Scott scaly.

Scott Scully:

Good I met Jeff winners.

Jeff Winters:

Impossible to follow that we have the reason Scott did that as we have now confirmed worldwide listeners worldwide in a world. He did Australia. We've got folks in Africa, South America, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Morocco, the list goes on. He did the very good. I'm not that I'm not a good accent person. But that was very, I mean, kidding aside, it's very cool. Very excited.

Eric Watkins:

I feel like I'm in Australia. He's also wearing a Hawaiian shirt, which I feel like kind of fits kind of adjacent. You know, Australia. Yeah, totally.

Jeff Winters:

The Hawaiian shirt is very popular in Australia. Right?

Eric Watkins:

Do you think he's trying to one up you after you were the Hawaiian shirt the other week? And we said it was out of style? And even think about that. We did. And now he's coming in.

Scott Scully:

So that's a sensitivity around it is

Eric Watkins:

I heard a rumor has it he's got some stats.

Jeff Winters:

I'm excited for his stats. i It's a very competitive group here for those listening. And, look, I got the social share last week, which means I said something that was so provocative and interesting that the marketing team thought I should put it

Eric Watkins:

on social. And it was your birthday week. That was the reason

Jeff Winters:

Oh, it's my birthday. Well, that's it sounds like something a couple of guys might say that are little jelly of my social share. So let's get your social shares up. But thank you to our worldwide listeners. That's really the main point where I'm

Eric Watkins:

so excited about that, but not as excited as I am to talk about our topic today. Accountability. It's a big one. What are you guys thinking?

Scott Scully:

I think that people should be held accountable.

Eric Watkins:

What do you think, Jeff?

Jeff Winters:

I think that people should be held accountable. And I think teams should hold each other accountable.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, I think any, if you go to any high performing organization, you find this, it is very, very hard. I'm not gonna say impossible, but maybe impossible to have a high performing organization where they do not have accountability. So if that's what you're trying to create, that's what you're trying to grow, that's going to be something that's super important. So we're going to be talking about accountability in two separate ways today. The first one is when you ask somebody to do something, and to make sure it gets done. That's really your good old fashioned dependability. The second way we're going to talk about is ownership over results. So if you are expected to achieve a result or an outcome, making sure that you take ownership over that, and not point pointing fingers in separate directions. So to start us off, Scott, let's get your feelings on accountability. Why do you think it's such a struggle in this day and age? And what can you do to be really good at it?

Scott Scully:

First of all, I read something that I wanted to put out there because I think that it totally described the perfect state. And I didn't want to get it wrong. So I wrote it down. And it said when everyone from the top to the bottom files through on promises, doesn't blame others for mistakes, and support others in achieving goals. It creates a healthy and positive work culture. And as a result, that breeds trust and enhances productivity. I thought that was good. That is really good, really good way to put it and and then I did have a couple of stats that were out there. The one that was staggering to me was that 94% of US workers feel like the company or their management. They have not laid out all of the activities necessary to do the job well and align them with the overall company goals,

Eric Watkins:

which is insane. 94% is that insane? And

Scott Scully:

that's a problem, right? There's a lot of things that we've tried to do to get it The most productivity out of our individuals and then have that turn into results for the organization so that our clients win. But it's going to be an interesting topic, because it's super sensitive, because it's just the way the world right now is there's less accountability, fewer people owning their shit. It'll be interesting to see where this conversation goes.

Jeff Winters:

There might be some people out there listening and thinking, I have an accountable organization, we are accountable. So I want to, I want to share a few things and others should chime in to of like, hey, here are some things to look for. That might be an indicator, or a blinking red light. And like you maybe your organization isn't as accountable as it could be, that I've seen over time. One, people come in late to meetings, you cannot have an accountable organization where people are consistently showing up late to meetings. Are people missing deadlines? When you come to a meeting, and you go, Hey, alright, let's review the action items from last time. Oh, I didn't do that. Okay. Well, you might not have as accountable organization, as you want. unclear expectations. People will not be accountable in an organization, if they are unclear what they are expected to do. And last, and then we can spin it around. If you feel the need to micromanage people, you probably don't have a very accountable organization super accountable. organizations don't need to be micromanaged, super accountable. teams don't need to be micromanaged. Because the teams hold each other accountable. And that's the magic. That's the highest level of accountability. It's not, it's not when the coach is coming and going, hey, everybody needs to be a practice an hour early, it's the coach arrives at practice an hour early, and everybody's there, because that's the code of the team.

Eric Watkins:

I would say another one is if you find yourself doing your team's work, as a leader, your accountability as a team isn't to the spot it needs to be you should be adding value developing, being above the work that your team is doing.

Jeff Winters:

I think that people are, I think leaders in in today's time, this very moment in time, are a little afraid to hold people accountable because of turnover. I think that people believe that there's only two ways to have a feedback conversation, I think the root of this is feedback and how you give feedback and how you hold people accountable. I think people think one of two things is gonna happen, I'm either going to kind of let this person slide because of whatever reason, and I don't want to have turnover, and it's really hard to recruit right now. And it's very easy for people to find jobs. And so I'm going to err on the side of not holding someone accountable. Because I don't want to leave, I think that's a very real thing right now. And to that, I would suggest that you're really doing your self and that person more specifically, and especially a huge disservice. Because one little slip of accountability, here, late to a meeting didn't do a task, or an action item that was assigned, just continues and spirals on itself. And I think a lot of it is I don't want to hold people accountable, because I'm nervous, I can't recruit, it's really hard. And they might leave, it's really easy to go find another job. And instead, it's like, you gotta get really good on given the feedback so that people know that, that they have to be accountable, because high performers want to be held accountable, and they want other people around and be accountable.

Scott Scully:

People don't like conflict, if you're going to test for something test for for that type of behavior in a manager, right? Can they? How are they going to act? And in times of conflict? Are they going to be ready, willing and able to have a tough conversation to hold people accountable? Because if they are, they're going to help build up that person in a better way that person is going to grow, and they're going to look back, maybe they weren't best friends, but they're going to look back and think, you know what, Jeff, was a hell of a manager. And he really helped me grow. I developed under Jeff, he was one of my best managers that I ever had. But there's a lot of managers right now that are worried about having a bunch of best friends. And that's just not the way it rolls set to.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, I think you'd look at it as a leader. And you say, what is my number one job, above everything? And I think the answer to that is my job is to make sure everybody on my team reaches their full potential. And everyone's potential isn't the same. It's all over the map. So it's not necessarily a results thing. It's the what is the effort they're putting in daily and as a manager or leader, I feel like you consistently have to ask yourself, am I allowing anybody on this team to underachieve from what they're capable of? And if the answer is yes, you need to address right you got to address it, or else you're doing them a disservice. And you're preventing the growth that they could have

Scott Scully:

I think there's a lot of overthinking right there. You know, I think about within our organization, and our managers have been given some guidelines and, you know, just a set of rules of which to operate within and, and they may be thinking more about doing things the wrong way or delivering, you know, being off a little bit in their delivery, as opposed to just straight up having a conversation. Bob, what the heck, why did you do that? You know, you got to wear shoes to work. Kidding, and you got to show up on time. And then when they don't show up on time, the next day, it's like, what, what is going on? What's in the way of you not getting here on time? Don't do it again, tomorrow you do it, we're going to be sitting down, we're going to have a discussion. Okay. Do you know that? I mean, you just said that. So you must be fully aware of what you're supposed to do? Do you know why you're supposed to make 135 dials? Well, yeah, because that's what the clients bought. And because, you know, if you make that many dials than just our numbers suggest that we're going to have, okay, well, you're well aware of why and so what's up? Why the heck didn't you do it? Don't do that tomorrow, then they don't do it tomorrow. And there's, it doesn't have to be that heart. But we make it hard. We overthink it, we don't do it should be the first thing that somebody does not the thing that they get around to. And if we operate that way, I think we're more successful.

Jeff Winters:

It's a really good point. Think about radical candor, very in vogue, and I think great book on feedback. And it basically says you ought to care deeply. And also criticize directly, I'm paraphrasing, but if you can't do that, their second best option is to be an asshole. And I think there's a really good message there like being an asshole is way better than not saying anything. Exactly. 100% If you got mustard on your tie, whether I can say it in a really nice tactful way. Or I have to be an asshole and say it you're better off being an asshole and saying some than you are saying nothing. I think that Scott, if I could just take your point and build on it. That's what I say. I see people that just hey, I get you don't know how to say it just be an asshole if you have to.

Eric Watkins:

Are you calling Scott?

Jeff Winters:

He's totally called me in it was that unclear.

Eric Watkins:

So in its either radical candor are crucial conversations. One thing that helps with that is they say start with heart. So whenever you're having these tough conversations, the first thing you should do is start with, like, what are you doing that's in their best interest. And then that gives you the ability to have that it just makes it so much easier. Scott, the reason I'm talking to you today is because I want what's best for you, I know you came here for growth. And I know at the end of the day, you want to see what you're capable of and what your potential is,

Scott Scully:

like, I totally get what you're saying. And I believe in that. But if you're sitting down and having that kind of conversation with me, I'm like, get to the shit. Like, don't give me all the fluffy fluff up front. That's I'm just coming from a different perspective. sit me down when you hire me and say, I'm going to be hard on you. I'm going to give you really high expectations. Here's why. You know, you're taking care of clients, here's why they need us, here's the work, here's what I'm going to ask you to do, I'm going to ask you to own these clients and work your ass off. And if you do, it's going to be super fun, the clients are going to be happy. And then you're going to be able to do a lot of things in this organization. If I have to come to you, and ask you why you're not doing the work that you signed up to do. It's not going to be that much fun. But if you do the work, it's going to be great. And just set me up upfront like that. And then if I'm not doing it, I don't know. I don't know why you can't just say what's what's up, Eric? Yeah, we agreed to this. Yeah, you agreed. You know, the clients need us. And I'm not I'm not saying that you don't figure out the best language, but I don't for me, like if there's a bunch of stuff that you're saying where I can tell where you're going? Just tell me? Yeah, just get to the point or just ask me the question.

Jeff Winters:

I agree. I don't like the Fluffy, fluffy. They're just telling me. But also tell me what I'm doing great in a different moment. And I think the ideal ratio is like three or four to one, you want three or four positive, reinforcing comments for every one piece of opportunity for improvement or criticism. But don't do it together. Like, come to me and tell me hey, because in an interview, or when you first hire somebody, there, if you if you ask them, you go, hey, you know, when you're not doing a good job to me to come and tell you what the Fluffy, fluffy want me to come and really tell you and they go, just I want to know, please don't delay. Every single person will say that. That's okay. Well, I'll do that for you that

Scott Scully:

you just made me think. So we were talking in a prior episode about the acknowledgement of people in their work. And that's what we're saying. Like if along the way, if you're noticing things that they're doing well, right, then you should be able to break people's walls down and have this kind of conversation. But if someone's trying to do them all at once, like oh crap, I'm gonna have a hard conversation. So I gotta say three things that I like about Right now in this current conversation and then get to the, to the thing, that, to me, that's where it's awkward. That's why you should always be acknowledging work over time. And then if something like this comes up that you could have a direct conversation and get to the point, because people are trusting you and feeling good. And knowing that you are enjoying these other things they're doing within that position,

Jeff Winters:

you know, what they call that they have a term for that. They call it the shit sandwich. You know, it's like, Hey, Scott, you know, first of all, I just want to tell you, I just, I love the way you park in the parking lot, like you stay right in between the lines, you never take up, go too far forward or too far backward. Second thing I wanted to share is that you're really not doing a good job. But third, you made me laugh the other day, and I thought that was really good,

Scott Scully:

which I like, if you gave me that sandwich, I would need it.

Eric Watkins:

Here. Here's the here's the other side of that, is sometimes we focus on strictly the negative. And people need momentum, they need to feel like they're building. I think that's just human psychology, we're

Scott Scully:

saying the same thing. And by the way, I can improve big time in this right and then acknowledge me to make peace. I'm just saying, as an individual, I'd rather have those things over time. Sure. And not getting not sit down with somebody when they want to talk about something more challenging and have it sandwiched or have there be a lead because I personally would buy right into it or not buy read right? And sure, I'd know where you were going. And it wouldn't, you wouldn't be doing me any favors by giving me a compliment. And then getting into it. I just want to know, now you you can ask that in different ways. You could say, hey, how, how are your dials? Scott? Yeah, tell me. I mean, I'm a little down. Okay, well, why you could come about it in a different way. But I just would read immediately into the compliment beforehand, I but I am saying compliment way more often be doing that regularly, so that you have someone in a spot where you can talk to them about something that's more difficult.

Eric Watkins:

I think we all what we all agree on which I think may be controversial to some people is compliments don't have any business in a conversation around correcting action or improving behavior. I think the what I was saying with the start with heart, why why I do like it. And if you can do it in a less fluffy way is it provides context to the conversation. So they know why you're having it. Like Scott, my job as your manager is like, it's basic, and it's redundant. But you're at least explaining every single time. Hey, here's why I continue to come talk to you every morning. I don't want to come talk to you every morning, right? I don't I want to talk to you about all the positive things going on. But as your manager, this is my role.

Scott Scully:

I'm just saying make him say, yeah, like, Hey, how's it going? Where are ya? Anything in particular that you think needs focused? There? Eric, I probably need to work on dials. Okay. I didn't say you did. But I guess I probably agree, what are you going to do about it? Like make a moment, they're supposed to be owning these things and knowing exactly where they're at what they have responsibility to do. And if they're not doing it, then they should be able to tell you if they're doing the job or not. I think that we're all basically saying the same thing. You know, what she said? What? Own it? Yeah, when you're shit,

Jeff Winters:

own your shit. And it's very easy to point fingers, and it but if you're going to be accountable, and Eric, you alluded to this at the top of the episode, if you're going to be accountable, you can't also be pointing fingers, different ways, the most successful people you're gonna come across and research suggests the happiest, the most satisfied at work, are individuals who have Extreme Ownership or as they say, like very wide, you know, like locus of control, technical term, Locus of Control, meaning they think that they happen to the world, the world does not happen to them. If I'm late for work, it's not because there was traffic. It's because I didn't leave early enough. And take this to the extreme for people listening, we think about accountability. Take this to the extreme for yourself, irrespective of what happens put it on you. It's like freeing in a way, Eric, your Hall of Fame at this. I mean, it's Don't you agree? It's It's freeing in a way to think, hey, there is nothing that happens to me. I happen to everything. And if something didn't go right, it's either because I didn't cause it to go right or I didn't have a contingency in place in case something went wrong. Like that's the ultimate accountability. I'm never going to point fingers everything is on me and I always could have had a plan for whatever unforeseen quote unquote event He could have could have come about. So

Scott Scully:

I'll tell you how I learned that early on. It's Tuesday. My dad comes in first thing in the morning says, Get your ass up, go mow the yard. It's seven. I have the whole day to mow the yard. I'll mow it. Nope, get dressed up and do it now. So then, of course, I skip it, I don't do it. It rains. Can't get the frickin lawn mowed. By the end of the day he comes home, what do you think the conversation was? Wasn't that it rained, it was what, that's why you should get your ass out of bed and mowed at seven than the lawn would have been done, then it rained. And then we wouldn't be having this conversation. But I love it. And there's not enough of it. And the people that are totally accountable, and owning their shit are moving so fast these days. They're just skyrocketing to the top of organizations, and then taking on more responsibility and making more pay because they've figured out how to take total total ownership. And those people shine more today than they ever have.

Eric Watkins:

That's the thing at the end of the day is there's always a legitimate reason to point a finger. Like every single situation, there's like literal, logical sense of why you could point at that person. And why there would be there's a million of those reasons. But it's a terrible way to live. It's just a miserable way to live because you have no control. You're just literally walking around and you're at your destiny is in everyone else's hands. You know, you read the Jocko Willick Extreme Ownership. That was a great book, just reading that just really put it in perspective of how you can go over you can be extreme about ownership. And think about every situation what you could have done differently, and no one's perfect. But I think it's something to continue to work at. And you're going to just be a happier individual,

Jeff Winters:

when you've got a team of people when you got a company and everybody at that company thinks that it's all within their control. Nothing is outside of the scope of their control, or outside of the scope of something they could have planned for. That would have put it into their control. That's a magical place. Like that's a that's a place we all want to. We all want to live in a culture we all want to have. It's like ingraining that and being that person in that manager and having the discipline when people come to you and go Well, it was a bad quarter. And the reason it was a bad quarter is because we had some turnover. Okay. And the reason it was a bad quarter was because Sally didn't do something or Joey didn't know, I was me reasons. But I it was on me, I didn't do a good enough job planning for this and do a good job planning for that. And here's how we're going to do it better. Those are very different conversations. And we as managers and leaders, using consequential learning, can't let people off the hook and pointing the fingers because if they're pointing fingers there, people are pointing fingers. And if you allow it, then it perpetuates. And that's how you have an organization that is not accountable.

Eric Watkins:

So what let's think about this real quick. So why would someone why why in a work environment? Do people point fingers? So the first one, they don't want to take blame? And why don't they want to take blame because they don't want to look bad. And I think there's there's a piece here, where you need to create an environment as a leader, that where it's safe to fail. And notice I didn't say okay to fail, but safe to fail, as long as they're failing forward, right? Especially if we're growing and we're trying to get better every day. If people don't feel like they can make a single mistake, then what you're gonna have is people spending more time covering up their mistakes than they are owning them and moving forward and working on other things. So this

Scott Scully:

is where it gets controversial, because I hear a lot of that. But there's just more and more things that are allowed. Right? And then you've heard how you get a trophy, even if you don't win and you I mean, I look at my kids school, guess what happens if you get caught drinking and you're on the football team? Nothing? Nothing. Okay, so then let's say you get caught. Let's say you got caught drinking a second time and you're on the football team. And you're a good football player. What do you think happens? Nothing. Now that's on the parents. The parents will deal with it. We're running a football team here.

Eric Watkins:

That's a good you bring up a great topic. So what's the balance? I

Scott Scully:

will our coach said, you get caught once it's 90 days, which is a big part of the season. Twice, you're done. And then someone did get caught and he was off period. Well, you weren't getting drunk and getting caught, that's for sure. And I'm not saying that it has to be that but the one thing about when it is, is there's way less people doing shit and maybe some people are hiding some things. But when it is absolute What will happen less of it occurs? I just think today it is all about well, did they learn from it? My kids, like their friends, they're not afraid of anything. Like if they get caught, I'll deal with the punishment because it's not going to be that bad. And it's they're going to talk to me about what I learned from it. And accountability is bad, because all the language in my opinion is about, well, you know, you can't be too hard on them, and you want to keep them positive. And you know, there's a balancing act, and you just can't come down and say, This is the law period, because it isn't going to work. And doesn't it, because that's how I had it. If I did x, y occurred. And it's so inconsistent now that every single organization that's out there, is having a hard time holding people accountable or having people own their shit. Good luck, trying to hold people accountable, unless you lay out like we're trying to do. Here's the workday, here's the schedule, here's exactly what you have to do. Here's what happens if you do it. Here's what happens. If you don't do it, then we have to, like stay 100% consistent to that. Because if we don't, it's going to be like the rest of their life. And and they're not going to I mean, it's just going to be confusion.

Jeff Winters:

This is good. This is like the the interesting, good, nuanced take. Let me so let me let me let me give the application of business. Let me pose a question. So I'd like the quintessential business accountability example, from yesteryear is G. A G, for a period of time under Jack Welch, if you missed that, they fired the bottom 20% is the bottom 10% of performers in every year, every year? So so how do you handle this for those guy throw this away happened in

Scott Scully:

the in the organization that bought our last company, they did the same thing every year, they got the managers together and literally carved off the bottom?

Jeff Winters:

What's the right way to do it? Because like, it's one thing with behaviors, okay, with behaviors? Yeah, there's no excuse. There's no excuse here are the behaviors, do the behaviors if you don't want? Why not? If you don't twice, you know, whatever, the corrective action sequences, but what about with results? How do you handle because that's for our listeners, it's tough,

Scott Scully:

I think you maybe it was both of you brought up the fact that maybe today people are worried about losing individuals. And so they don't do it. But let's just assume that you are in a spot where, you know, you can get enough talent, which globally, if you open up the boundaries and hire in different markets, you probably couldn't keep yourself there, right? You have to show them, you have to lay it all out and say, here's the job. And here's what happens if you do it. And here's what happens if you if you don't, and you paint that vision, and then they picked you didn't. This is the job, here's what the clients need. Here's why it's good for the clients in the company and for you. And you, Jeff are making the decision. I didn't you I told you what the job was. You agreed to it, we had an agreement. You didn't do it? I'm sorry.

Eric Watkins:

In between in between that, let's take a sales rep and you know, typically organized organizations may give them three to six months to ramp up. And they they miss goal. And you know, you're you're in month six, they haven't hit goal yet. If they miss three more months, they're going to be fired. When they miss goal. Do you put the focus on you miss goal? I don't know what to tell you. You need to figure it out? Or is it more on what can you learn and teach them and develop? Because you both know where? What's happening three months from now? month nine, they're fired?

Scott Scully:

That's great question. First of all, I would hold hard on the activity, abstract absolute requirement. They didn't do that. You don't want to be here. Right. But most sales managers don't hold their salespeople accountable to the activity. And if they did, they wouldn't have as many people missing number. I don't care what they say. I mean, I've done that for the longest. I know that if you have X amount of activities, people fall into deals, period. One thing you could do as a sales rep is if the activities there, you put in a little bit more activity, but you know, if they get later down the road and they miss the numbers, and they're working themselves out of a job, but what you said there's nothing wrong with with what you said either. It's like you're selling it. Maybe you don't understand the industry that well. What are you doing? To understand it because guess what, every single person that's successful, does goes and puts in the work, puts in the hours, watch his videos, reads blogs, listens to podcasts, figures it out. What's wrong with Sam go figure it out? What's wrong with sin? I don't know, you could make $250,000. Go figure it out, learn the industries put in the work. I think the person before you had to

Eric Watkins:

people make it an emotional thing. Even when you're talking to me, it's emotional. Like I kind of feel bad for missing goal. And I think at times you should. But I don't I don't think that has anything to do with no,

Scott Scully:

but if you own your, if you truly were owning it, you should feel

Eric Watkins:

it. Well, yeah, it would be, I would be emotional about it. But I think as a leader, it's important that you're not emotional about it. Because it doesn't need to be an emotional thing. It's business. At the end of the day, I'm here to make sure you achieve a result, I'm going to do whatever I can to create an environment for you to hit that result. And if you don't hit it, it's not good for either of us. To continue this.

Scott Scully:

People are worried about emotions, though, I knew this is going to be interesting conversation. If they know that I care so much about them being the best version of themselves. Why can't I be pissed off about that? Like, Eric, I know that you can accomplish amazing things, and you're not doing everything that you could do? It pisses me off? Why can't I say that? If I'm truly out for the individual, I truly want them to look back one day and say, I don't really care if they say he was my best friend. But I am just in an entirely different spot. Because he pushed and pushed and expected me to, like, be the best me that I possibly could be. I don't know what's better. There's just not enough of it. Yeah, like, I don't know, do you want somebody fighting for you maybe a little bit upset, because you truly aren't doing everything that you could do to be an awesome you. And maybe the manager doesn't do a good job of getting somebody to understand that that's why they might be upset?

Eric Watkins:

Well, I think you're hitting on something, though, that as a leader, as a manager, if you have a good relationship, and I don't mean like friend relationship, but you have a mutual respect. And they know that you have their best interests at heart. You can you get so much latitude in how you present things. Because yeah, of course, if I felt that way, and you it didn't doesn't matter how you said it, it wouldn't be an emotional thing. I'd be like, Hey, I can't let Scott down, right? Because he cares about me, and wants me to be successful.

Scott Scully:

So maybe, maybe, maybe there's a way someone could set that up. Like, look, if I get emotional from time to time, or if I'm, if nothing else happens other than you become a better version of yourself, and you realize success, because I give you the gift of high expectations. I'm going to feel great about it. And I just want you to know that upfront.

Eric Watkins:

For new managers and leaders. It's important because I think we're going back to the beginning, the root of this is they're scared to have tough conversations. And they're scared to have tough conversations, because they don't want to be mean, what I'm just trying to say is, you don't have to be mean, like there's nothing mean about this, you're doing it in their best interest, you can do it in whatever tone makes sense for you, you just need to have the conversation and set clear expectations

Jeff Winters:

can't dance around it. I mean, it's an unfortunate byproduct of accountability. But you got to if you're gonna talk about accountability, you got to talk about letting people go. It just is what it is. It's the worst thing that we have to do. As leaders, it's the worst thing we have to do as managers, we crane over it, we spend disproportionate amounts of time thinking about it, and how it will pick thick people and their families. And that's normal. That is human nature. But you got to talk about it. And I think there's the way I think about it is couple different ways. One is stuff you can control, if you have an individual who is not doing the activities that they have been told will make them successful, and they know will make them successful. And you have to let that individual go. That's one thing. But the worst, I think for all of us, we'd all agree is when you have that individual is doing what's in their control, and who is doing the activities. And the results aren't there. And unfortunately, if you poured as much as you can into that individual, and there's nothing else that individual can do within the organization, and some people listening, have small companies, and you do have to unfortunately, let that person go. That is your responsibility as a leader, because you have to be loyal to the group and to the many and not the one and that's a really hard thing to say and it's a hard thing to get your head around. But if you're a leader and you're a manager, you're an entrepreneur, you're CEO, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And that's real. And that is an unfortunate byproduct of accountability.

Scott Scully:

A lot of times letting that person go is letting them go to what is better suited for them. It can be an easier conversation.

Jeff Winters:

It can be an organization's need to do a great job. Everyone could do a better job of making sure that you may have other openings inside the organization at That person would be a better fit for and they can go there. Or maybe you had somebody who transitioned from an individual contributor to a manager, and they were just a better individual contributor, and they can transition back, or if unfortunately, they do have to leave the organization, that you helped pave the way for a soft landing. But you can't talk about accountability without talking about, you know, letting people go and then that that's part of it. And that that's what are we owe that to the listeners and people who are thinking about this topic to have to get into the uncomfortable, and this is uncomfortable.

Scott Scully:

So, you know, people are listening about our opinions. But what do we think, are a handful of things that somebody could do tomorrow to make it easier to hold people accountable?

Eric Watkins:

I think I have the first one. And it started with Bill Walsh standards of excellence, his first practice that he ever ran with the 40, Niners they practice how to stand for the national anthem for the whole first practice, people thought he was crazy. They're like, What the hell is this coach doing? We literally didn't run a play, we stood for the national anthem. But he understood the importance of it's the little things that add up into the environment. So I think first off, you can't expect people to do 600 things the right way, every single day. So what's the smallest set of things that you're going to have a standard for? And then you make that bar very clear. And 99% is the same as zero, it's 100%, or zero, because if it's 99, this month, it'll be 97, the month after that. And before you know it, you're a year down the road, and you're wondering, What the hell are people doing? We're at 50% of what we were doing before. So I would say establish your standard of excellence, and bring your team in on it. Let them be involved, like what do you all want to be this team's standard of excellence. And you'd be surprised how excited that team would be about that,

Scott Scully:

I would throw two things into support what you said in that is, when possible, build a schedule, a daily schedule that those activities go into, so that they just know what an ideal day or winning the day looks like. And then the second thing would be that you have to clearly map the vision for them, and how the their individual activities roll up into success for the organization.

Jeff Winters:

I'm going to add one, and it is making sure that whatever the expectations are, are achievable. I think a lot of companies set insane goals, and they ought not to, because you can't hold a group of people accountable to a goal that was never achievable in the first place. So if you want to have a company that stands for accountability, where accountability is important, you got to set goals that are achievable, or set standards and behavioral goals that are achievable. Otherwise, you can't hold anybody accountable. Because nobody could ever get there in the first place.

Scott Scully:

I would add another one where you have a regularly scheduled sit down where it's on the person to come in and present their work and be accountable to that work. And you know, that can be a real powerful discussion there. And then as you mentioned earlier, you have to be willing to cut ties if somebody just won't be accountable, and they weren't on their ship.

Eric Watkins:

Last one, I would say would be no one presents a problem without a solution. So anytime there's an issue, there's something that there's even an idea not maybe not even a problem, you need to come to the table with what's the problem? How do you diagnose the root of it? How do you plan to solve it? Because it prevents the empty venting, where people just offload their problems onto you. And it creates a solution focused mindset which will have everyone more in that mindset we talked about earlier of I am in control of what I'm doing on a daily basis. So that's what we talked about today. I think it's a great conversation. Let us know your thoughts. Like Share, Comment, continue to share with others put it to use. We want to hear your feedback, incredible conversation. Always be growing. Thanks for listening to the growth show. Leave us a review and let us know how we're doing or if there's a topic you'd like us to cover in the future.

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