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Achievers are always accountable for results. And leadership fails when the leader does not hold all team members accountable. I am sure you have heard that many times before. You might have even heard it from a boss you had imploring you to “hold them accountable.” Some people see this as a problem. They fear that holding people accountable will hurt relationships. In reality, it requires more skilled relation building over mutually agreed to goals.

Creating a culture of accountability requires collaboration, communication of goals, and understanding the nature of motivation. Having conversations about accountability should be combined with empowering your team to take ownership of their work. You need to communicate the goals and the desired outcomes, but they need to be a part of it. Be totally transparent regarding challenges and obstacles. Your team should not fear making mistakes but should learn from them. Honest and direct conversations need to occur if you expect the right outcome. When a team member is part of those conversations collaboration will occur.

Now let’s look at another dimension of this. Some people drive accountability through coercion and fear. The leader does not have the skills to generate an honest and frank conversation. This has dire consequences and causes leaders to fail badly. Consider what happens if you have an employee who needs to speak up and offer opinions but fears doing so. The outcomes could be worse than if you had no accountability.

The book, “Crucial Confrontations”, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer really talks about this topic. How do we handle missed commitments, failed promises, and bad behavior regarding our staff, our boss, our spouse, our children, or any other relationship?

The book points out where a lack of confrontation by the team to management resulted in tragedy in the US Space Shuttle program.

In January 1986, the Challenger Space Shuttle along with 7 American astronauts was lost in the Florida sky. Investigators later determined that the “0” rings failure had been responsible for the explosion. It was later learned that several months before the disaster, some NASA scientists were concerned that the “0” rings might malfunction in colder weather. But they never confronted the chain of command at NASA. The culture at NASA was such that those who brought up obstacles might not have continued career success. NASA’s lack of encouraging ownership and accountability resulted in a real tragedy.

Encouraging High Performance

Do you really want to be frustrated over missed commitments, broken promises, or bad behavior? If not, I suggest that you understand your people along with knowing and communicating company vision and values. When an issue arises, frame the real issue. For example, if the problem is consistent lateness with projects don’t frame it as lateness. Instead, frame it as continued broken promises and reliability. If you need to inform your boss about an important failure you see in the organization do so in the same manner. Learn to have frank and honest conversations about accountability. Above all be accountable to yourself and your values.  For a similar blog on our website see YOU NEED TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.

Let us show you how you can have accountability and ownership from your team.

Contact us to learn more

or call 914-953-4458



Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 12/13/2019 01:00 AM
  2. Bob Crane 12/17/2019 03:09 PM
Real Estate Best Practices
New York Westchester County
Coaching and Mentoring
culture of accountability
accountable teams

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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Roy - hope you are having a great day.

Brian - yes accountability is very important.

Sheri - a good balance for those coming up from the ranks.  They have to see through their team's eyes.

Ron and Alexandra A - that is how I see accountability.  People also feel accountability.

Will - pride in your work goes hand in hand with accountability.

Dec 09, 2019 09:47 AM #11
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Grant over the years I have heard a lot about accountability.  You hit it on the nose when you stated that:

"if you have an employee who needs to speak up and offer opinions but  fears doing so."

It is easy to say you want to be held accountable, but when a superior is held accountable by someone who reports to him or her, the results sometimes indicate otherwise.

Dec 09, 2019 12:00 PM #12
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Teamwork does actually make the dream work. They’re not kidding when they say that lol.

Dec 09, 2019 09:05 PM #13
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Grant what an awesome post and indeed sometimes people need to take a stand even if it does not help their careers but it is ethics morals and personal pride...Endre

Dec 09, 2019 11:05 PM #14
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Grant.

Sadly, I believe everyone could name at least one company like NASA,  Make it a great day

Dec 10, 2019 01:49 AM #15
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Hi Grant, Great point here. It is frustrating to the team when management doesn't hold one accountable.

Dec 10, 2019 02:17 AM #16
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

George - it is a common commitment to excellence.

Laura - yes it does.  Good quote.

Endre - yes, you really have to be totally committed and speak when you must.

James - unfortunately, that is correct.

Carla - it is a common committment on all levels.

Dec 10, 2019 03:37 AM #17
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Some Agents tend to slack when they are not accountable to anyone.  In order to succeed we must have "Pride"

Dec 10, 2019 06:15 AM #18
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author


Dec 10, 2019 11:48 AM #19
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

This is great stuff here.  I am going to use it in our team meeting tomorrow.  This was a post I really needed today.  Thank you.

Dec 10, 2019 01:54 PM #20
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Grant, another great post!   I do believe we HAVE to be accountable even without a team - to our clients!    I take pride in my work, and always want a client to believe they are special.

Dec 10, 2019 02:26 PM #21
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Rose - that is right and the team leader is responsible.

Richie - thank you

Cindy - thank you.  I wish you success tomorrow.

Joan - ultimately accountable to the client.

Dec 11, 2019 07:28 AM #22
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

If Management in a company has created the "I am always right" atmosphere without the "ability" to listen to and have an "open mind" perspective on problems....that IS a problem.

Dec 11, 2019 07:54 AM #23
Norma J. Elkins
Elite Realty Group - Morristown, TN
Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team

Accountability is so very important.  Great blog with awesome info.  Thanks for sharing!

Dec 11, 2019 09:23 AM #24
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Great post Grant Schneider, those who actually enjoy what they do and take pride in their work want to be held accountable. Then, there are some who know exactly what needs to be done but prefer to pass it on.

Dec 11, 2019 10:52 AM #25
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Wednesday afternoon, Grant. Have an outstanding week.

Dec 11, 2019 11:36 AM #26
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Grant:

The PRIDE acronym is excellent and a powerful message. You’ve shared some wise advice for team leaders, as well as those who are sole practitioners who work with others in their transactions.

Congratulations on the the feature - it’s well deserved.


Dec 11, 2019 02:01 PM #27
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Sally and David - that is the one way my way accountbility that leads to disaster.

Norma -  agreed and when everyone at every level is accountable it is great.

Beth - in the later group it is a problem if they don't continue to hold themselves accountable while delegating.

Roy - hope you have a great week.

Jeff - accountability with pride means everyone feels accountable.

Dec 12, 2019 07:02 AM #28
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Love this and so many good points! Sadly, those who don't think they need accountability will never REALLY 'sign up.' They say they want to be but, boy, when it comes down to brass tacks...not so much! 

Great post, as always, Grant! Here's to 2M points too!! 

Dec 17, 2019 08:49 AM #29
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Grant, I do believe accountability and trust should be basic, and within anyone working with the public. 

Jan 03, 2020 06:45 AM #30
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