Dragons, accountability and corporate culture

People & Culture

When you first got here we thought you were a dragon!  That you were going to destroy us!” This is one of the best comments I’ve ever received from a client’s employee.

I was considered a dragon because I put in an accountability practice that was considered very harsh compared to what employees were used to.  New boundaries can be uncomfortable.  Fast forward two years and that perception became acceptance and even championed by some of the harshest critics.

When a work environment does not hold employees accountable in a consistent practice, enforcing accountability becomes impossible.  Its like hitting a moving target.  Accountability is not to be liked, or enjoyed.  It is there to keep a standard in place.  Without accountability how does leadership direct a team to grow and reach goals?

In my work with Corporate Culture, I have found the most consistent challenge to be a lack of personal accountability.  No surprise then that without clear accountability the culture is not optimum.  When accountability practices are put in place the culture begins to shift

Here are three reasons why:

FACTS – take away all the ‘who did or said what to whom’. Just the facts, which you are accountable for.    Your thoughts, your feelings, your words and your actions.  Taking responsibility for yourself allows you to remove the story and just own your part, your responsibility and therefore, your job!  What somebody did to get you there is not considered.  We all have choices to make and when you think, act, or say something you are responsible, regardless of reasoning.

ENGAGEMENT – when we don’t get caught up in stories, the drama melts away.  Some find it satisfying getting pulled into drama.  But that drama removes the opportunity for engagement.  By allowing drama, chaos will be the standard.  By enforcing personal accountability engagement becomes the standard.  With engagement, there is a dependency and a trust that can build. Engagement and trust creates a standard of order and clear expectations.

ACTION –  That is what most employers are after because action will bring results.  By removing drama and having an engaged team, clear objectives can be defined and then action taken to achieve them.  Action without clarity will only create more drama and more chaos.  Action taken to reach objectives and goals will create results.

So, if a dragon walks into your office and asks only for facts so that the objective is clear, and then takes immediate action, welcome her.  She’s going to get things done!

Shannon Pearson blends her expertise in corporate culture and change management with practical, structured methods to transform the heart and soul of your business. Connect with Shannon on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Mike Knapp


Mike has been helping businesses achieve their goals for more than 20 years. He believes there is a better way for business owners and leaders to build their businesses and achieve their big goals. As a Gravitas Impact Premium coach, he leverages the 7 Attributes of Agile Growth™ to simplify the art of strategy and discipline of execution.

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