Accountability is an unexpected crutch

“Accountability is a crutch.”
So says former Navy Seal, Jocko Willink in his excellent book ‘Extreme Ownership.’
Holding people accountable often compels teams to comply and ‘play not to lose’ to achieve their objectives.
The issue is not the presence of objectives.
The issue, in Jocko’s view, is who sets them, how they are set and how they are managed.
Targets are set in the C-Suite and cascaded down to people in the field to achieve them.
When teams and individuals miss their objectives it’s often because something else was deemed by the team and their leaders to be more important in the moment than the mission at hand.
Yet the group that wants to achieve the task, the mission or the purpose without force will always outperform the team that is held to account.
In those teams, everyone lifts each other up, particularly in moments of difficulty.
Everyone has each other’s backs.
Everyone stays true to the mission of the group.
Those that don’t are given the opportunity to redeploy to a different team or organisation with compassion and dignity.
So looking at your own team(s), what now needs to be done differently so you and they can achieve the desired results (or better) without being held to account?
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