Last week I sat and listened to two friends narrate a story.  An incident had happened related to a project that is very dear to their hearts.  I listened as they took one event and told themselves a detailed story about why this had happened, to the point that the person involved (a friend) had become a villain.  We all do it!  We look at a situation where we have incomplete information and we tell ourselves a story about the other persons motivation, intent and character.  Unfortunately we tend to tell ourselves ugly stories!  In turn we then move ourselves to the moral high ground.

 

The book Crucial Accountability* has a very helpful chapter on challenging the stories we...

'Great institutions are not managed; they are led.  They are not administered; they are driven to ever-increasing levels of accomplishment by individuals who are passionate about winning'.

'Personal leadership is about visibility - with all members of the institution.  Great CEOs roll up their sleeves and tackle problems personally.  They don't hide behind staff.  They never simply preside over the work of others.  They are visible every day with customers, suppliers and business partners.'

'Personal leadership is about communication, openness, and a willingness to speak often and honestly,and with respect for the intelligence of the reader or listener.  Leaders don't hide behind corporate double-speak.  They don't leave to others the delivery of bad news. They treat every employee as someone who...

The acronym 'CPR' that the authors suggest in the book 'Crucial Accountability' is very helpful and easy to remember for directing an accountability conversation - Content, Pattern, Relationship.

Content - the content of a violation typically deals with a single event or situation.  For example, "you were 20 minutes late starting work today."

Pattern - the next time the problem occurs, we need to talk pattern.  The same violation is happening over time, it is not a one off event.  For example, "you have been more than 20 minutes late for work three times in the past 10 days."  The book suggests that 'frequent and continued violations affect the other person's predictability and eventually harm respect and trust'.  Most of us will be...