How Did That Happen? | Roger Connors

Summary of: How Did That Happen?: Holding People Accountable for Results the Positive, Principled Way
By: Roger Connors

Introduction

Discover the power of holding people accountable in a positive and principled way with the book ‘How Did That Happen?’ by Roger Connors. This summary takes you through the three axioms of the Accountability Sequence Model and explains their importance in achieving results. Learn how to establish and communicate clear expectations, and how to align and inspect them for successful outcomes. Explore the two types of Accountability Styles and their impact on personal connections. Unveil the secrets to motivating and training employees for better performance, and understand the importance of fostering a culture where accountability thrives and contributes to a more successful organization.

The Three Axioms of Accountability

The Accountability Sequence Model is built on three axioms that form the foundation of holding people accountable in a positive, principled way that produces results. The first axiom, the “Accountability Assumption,” acknowledges that most people want to contribute and take satisfaction in meeting or surpassing expectations. The second axiom, the “Accountability Fallacy,” claims that people who fail to deliver on expectations are flawed. The third axiom, the “Accountability Truth,” says that leaders should see themselves as part of the problem in addressing unmet expectations.

The model has two components: an Outer Ring and an Inner Ring. In the Outer Ring, you establish expectations by clearly communicating what is expected and inspecting the progress. The Inner Ring is where the “Accountability Conversation” takes place when expectations aren’t met. The four leading factors for unmet expectations include poor motivation, inadequate training, too little personal accountability, and an ineffective culture. Overall, the Accountability Sequence helps leaders create a predictable work environment where commitments become reality.

The Accountability Sequence Model

The Accountability Sequence Model encourages a positive approach to accountability that focuses on empowering people to deliver on key expectations. The Outer Ring approach allows leaders to influence results proactively, instead of reacting to failure. Taking punitive measures instead of acknowledging their own responsibility leads to negative “Accountability Connections.” Top reasons people don’t hold their employees accountable include fear of offending others, lack of time, and perceived lack of impact. True accountability is not about punishment. A positive “Accountability Style” positively impacts relationships, while “Coerce and Compel” or “Wait and See” negatively affect Accountability Connections.

Accountability Made Simple

Use the Accountability Sequence Model to establish your expectations and hold others accountable. Key expectations are non-negotiable and failure is not an option. Apply the FORM Checklist to ensure the expectations are effective and measurable. Your management style significantly influences how you hold others accountable.

Crafting Effective Expectations

To foster dedication and innovation in employees, managers should not rely on coercive commands but rather communicate expectations and their underlying rationale. A mutual and truthful dialogue must be initiated where each worker’s tactical contributions are explained and emphasized. Three discussions are recommended when conveying goals effectively: specifying key expectations, identifying potential limitations, and discussing available support systems. Establishing a specific deadline reinforces a sense of accountability, motivation, and autonomy among the team members. Overall, crafting and transmitting effective expectations requires an empowering and transparent approach.

Achieving Complete Alignment

In order to achieve complete alignment, it is essential to ensure personal commitment, execution, and follow-through. While complying with expectations may meet basic requirements, it falls short of creating true ownership. Complete alignment is achieved through the three steps of the “Alignment Dialogue”: Score It, Evaluate It, and Resolve It. Score It asks people to rate their alignment with expectations, while Evaluate It determines what needs to be done to achieve complete alignment. In the third step, Resolve It, persuasion power is used to address any concerns before either reaffirming or revising expectations. This alignment dialogue should be accompanied by regular alignment meetings to foster accountability, regardless of position or influence. The book emphasizes the importance of taking ownership of expectations to have a positive impact on the entire chain of expectations.

Inspect Expectations

In the Accountability Sequence Model, inspecting expectations is key to joint accountability. Workday problems can affect people’s ability to meet expectations, so regular inspections help identify and assess snags early on. These “positive, principled inspections” hold people accountable for both their successes and failures. Utilizing the LOOK Model, effective assessments involve listening, observing, objectifying, and repeating these steps to remain on top of the situation. By being supportive and helping to find solutions, these inspections show a willingness to help and ultimately lead to success. Compulsion and negative consequences do not capture hearts and minds, but joint accountability does.

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