The Blame Game

In preparation for her interview on Pittard TV on 19 January, I read Susan Scott’s book Fierce Leadership. I read her other book Fierce Conversations many years ago. Both are excellent books.

To clear up any misunderstanding Susan uses the word “fierce” to indicate conversations that we must have – those conversations that if left unsaid can lead to a deterioration in relationships and a loss of morale and productivity. Fierce in Susan’s context does NOT mean aggressive behaviour.

Accountability is a topic I covered in my post in December 2016. Susan’s thoughts on accountability are worth adding to my post.

Susan says that in many organisations, when leaders say that they are holding people accountable, what they really do is find someone to blame when something goes wrong. In fact, many employees, when they hear “I’m going to hold people accountable” interpret this phrase to mean that someone is going to be made a scapegoat.

Accountability does not have a positive reputation!

The Blame Game is counterproductive. It is poor leadership and creates a culture where people become afraid to tell the boss when something is about to go wrong for fear that the leader will either shoot the messenger, or will go looking for someone to blame, all under the pretence of ‘accountability’.

Susan Scott says that accountability begins with the leader. We must hold ourselves accountable before we can expect the same from our people.

When something goes wrong, leaders must accept responsibility for one or all of these possibilities:

  • They gave the job to the wrong person,
  • They failed to give clear instructions or training,
  • They failed to give the person adequate resources to complete the task,
  • They failed to discuss the importance of the task,
  • They failed to set a realistic deadline for the task’s completion,
  • They overloaded the person with so much work that delivery of this task was nigh on impossible.

The key to accountability lies in the fundamental principle of great leadership: Example. If we are accountable, that is if we do what we say we are going to do, then it is so much easier to expect the same of our people.

The next key is follow-up. If I give an important task to any of my team I put the key stage deadlines into my own diary and on the due date I follow up. A simple question such as “How’s it going?” and “Do you need a hand?” tells your team member that you are serious about this task being done well and on time. The latter question also shows that you are ready to help.

Blame only makes things worse. In an environment where people are truly accountable, you have a leader who holds herself or himself accountable, and it is a SAFE environment where mistakes don’t lead to blame and hissy fits.

If we muck up, we fix up, and we move on toward our goals. A safe, healthy, accountable environment, where the leader leads the way.

Gary Pittard
Recent Articles

The Changing Face of Adult Education

As an educator in the real estate sector, I have seen the face of adult education change radically. Agency leaders should change their view of trainin...

Keep The Team Busy

Idle hands, idle mind, so the saying goes. School children who are kept busy with sport and similar extra-curricular activities are less likely to...

Can Booming Markets Conceal Mediocrity?

The real estate agent's prayer goes like this: "God grant me another boom and I promise I won't stuff it up this time". Such is the prayer of...

Group Your Tasks

'Task Hopping' is a time management trap that causes huge productivity losses. Real estate profit consultant, Gary Pittard, says that multitasking...

Buying a Name

Some real estate agency owners believe you need a big name to survive in the marketplace but this is not necessarily so. In the 25 years that I ha...

Should Leaders Sell

Owning a real estate agency and being a selling principal can be profitable, but what point is money if you have little free time to enjoy it? Rea...

Useless Notes

As a presenter, I often see attendees furiously taking notes, which may be flattering, but often leaves me wondering what they do with those notes. I ...

Ask For A Review

There is an old marketing saying that says: "Don't tell people how good you are. Get happy clients to tell people how good you are". References fr...

Forwards or Backwards: there is no standing still

A question I often ask leaders is "Where are you taking your...

Point Of Difference

Smart real estate agency leaders seek multiple Points of Difference for their agencies. When a seller says to your salesperson, "Why should I list...

Personality Matters

Meet Brendan and Adam, chefs and proprietors of a new restaurant called 34bia in Redfern in Sydney. Before this venture, Brendan and Adam owned a s...

Willpower Exercises

When it comes to forming new habits, willpower is what you need. With willpower you can say 'yes' or 'no' to yourself and mean it. In this short s...

Want to reach your profit potential? Contact us now.

Pittard


Suite 71, Level 4
330 Wattle Street

Ultimo NSW 2007
Australia


Mailing Address
PO Box 2045
Strawberry Hills NSW 2012


: (02) 8217 8500
Fax: (02) 9281 4198
AUS Free call: 1800 663 600
NZ Free call: 0800 448 065
International: +61 2 8217 8500

: info@pittard.com.au

Contact Us