In my position as a business leader, I often struggle with faithfully exercising accountability. In examining the effects this has on my leadership I see a continual result it has produced. I leave people in the game to long and I dodge the difficult conversations.
We have all seen the baseball game were the coach is hesitant to pull the star pitcher. The team is in a difficult position but the pitcher has pulled through so many times before, Then the opposition gets a hit, an another, the coach begins to walk to the mound, the pitcher looks at him and says ” I got this coach”. As the coach sits in the empty stadium after their loss he quietly hopes that their star pitcher will have a better game next time.
So how do you know when to replace your pitcher? Every situation has its own intricacies but here are a few things I have found helpful.
- Clarify expectations – know what you expect and take lots of time to articulate that to those you lead. Even small expectations matter.
- Keep a short list – schedule regular times when you review expectations and results. At least every few months, once a year in not enough. Trying to cover to much in one meeting always leads to frustration for both parties.
- Ask others about their expectations for you – be willing to be held accountable to expectations from those you lead. Being a leader does not put you above being accountable.
Helping someone through a difficult transition in their life can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. When the fit fizzles, take the time, have the difficult conversations, and lead people through the seasons of change.