Constructor -July/August 2012 - (Page 78)

LEADING THE WAY Be Positive The Right Approach to Holding People Accountable BY BOB WHIPPLE, MBA, CPLP A FREQUENT REFRAIN OF TOP MANAGERS is “we need to do a better job of holding people accountable.” Accountability seems to be the mantra for organizational get-well programs these days. One can agree with this in part, and yet there is an aspect of accountability that feels like a cop-out. The key to leadership is to create an environment whereby people do the best they can because they want to do it. When employees know it is clearly in their best interest to give their maximum discretionary effort to the organization, managers don’t have to crack the whip as often. Imagine working in an environment where people do the right things not because they are expected, but because it is in their best interest. In that atmosphere, holding people accountable would nearly always be a positive occurrence rather than negative. How refreshing! It is the actions, attitudes, and intentions of leaders, not the rank and fi le, that make the environment of either reinforcement or punishment the habitual medication for individual performance issues. Let’s examine eight attitudes or behaviors of leaders that can foster a culture where holding people accountable is a precursor to a feeling of celebration instead of a sentence to the dungeon. totally messed up.” Then, the assistant says, “You never told me to fi le them by client, so I used my initiative and fi led them by date because that is what they taught us in Record Retention.” Holding people accountable when the instructions are vague is like scolding an untethered horse for wandering off the path to eat grass. 2. BE SURE OF YOUR FACTS A manager learned this painful lesson early in his career. He gave his administrative assistant a letter to type for a customer. When he received it for review, the letter was full of obvious errors. He immediately held her accountable for the sloppy work and called her into a conference room to let her know of his disappointment. When he told her about the errors, she said, “Well if you had taken the time to notice the initials on the bottom of the letter, you would have seen that I farmed that work out to Alice because I was busy with other things. I did not type that letter.” Gulp. The manager tried to cover with, “I am glad, because your work is 1. BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS It happens every day. The boss says, “You did not fi le the documents correctly by client; you 78 constructor | JU LY/ AU G U ST 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor -July/August 2012

Editor's Note
President's Message
CEO's Letter
Shaky System
Safety Matters
2012 Construction Safety Excellence Award Winners
The Big Three
Fall Protection Training
AGC In Action
Finding the Net
Legal Perspective
AGC Cleans Up, Lowers Diesel Emissions
Company Fleets Going Biodiesel
Who Are You? Results of AGC’s Member and Vendor Survey
Transformation - Griffith Converts Brownfield Site into Healthy Park
BIM vs. Communication
Upcoming Events
Legislative and Regulatory News
Member and Chapter News
Smooth Sailing
Technology Toolbox
Q&A What's in Your Truck?
Leading the Way
Regional Resource Guide
Index to Advertisers
Final Inspection

Constructor -July/August 2012