Saturday, September 2, 2017

High Performance Leaders Are Accountable

My friend and fraternity brother David Spiegal operates a variety of businesses, models success in many ways, helps people become healthier and happier, and more -- all while being a loving family figure and man of faith.

Occasionally, I'll like one of his daily emails so much that I publish it here, word for word. I'm doing that today because, well, it's thought-provoking AND he refers to me in it. (My humble response follows his article as a comment.)

Here's Dave...

"Leadership is not a license to do less; it is a responsibility to do more."
-Simon Sinek-Leaders Eat Last 
September Word of the Month:

Yesterday was a really great day. The weather was pleasant and I found myself in a really fantastic mood. At one point I was singing along with one of my favorite songs on the radio. I don't mean singing like following a long. I mean belting it out as if I were a finalist on America's Got Talent.
I made some long over due phone calls.
I cleaned up a multitude of emails and tidbits that were cluttering my desk.
Like I said, it was a really great day.
Today when I awoke the skies were even brighter than yesterday. So why if that's the case am I in such a dower mood on the the first day of September and another How Am I Doin' Friday?
It has a lot to do with the September word of the month, accountability.
Like any one else, I come in contact with and have to deal with a lot of different people.
Each and every one of them have their own idiosyncrasies.
Some may call them quirks or peculiarities.
That's what makes us individuals not automatons.
We recognize them and for the most part we deal with them to the best of our abilities.
Some times these "quirks" become a bit much.
They create an uncomfortable environment for those who have to deal with them.
For years now it has been the "in" way of being to "just be me".
Accept me as I am is the norm of the day.
Much like the attitude that spawned Gordon Gecko's famous line from the movie Wall Street "Greed is Good", bad behavior disguised as "well it's just my way" has become the accepted practice.
Let me fill you in on a little secret.
Greed is not good.
Neither is bad behavior disguised as quirkiness.
We have a responsibility when we interact with others.
I get the whole "I have to be true to myself" stuff.
However,if me being me is just flat out weird, then maybe me should go live in the woods by myself.
When others are effected by my idiosyncratic behavior, I have the responsibility of curbing my quirkiness while working in and around them.
How do my actions effect those around me?
Did I leave a mess on the table I just ate at at the fast food restaurant?
Did I flush the toilet after I used it?
Did I put the seat down?
These are small examples of personal accountability.
It comes along with common decency.
If others are depending on me to do something, it's Nike time.
Just Do It!
Simply saying "oops , I forgot, but hey that's just how I am" does not cut it.
My friend and colleague Doug Smith who coaches companies around leadership and team work may have some insight into dealing with this "accept me as I am" modality that permeates today's world and maybe he can shed some light on it for me.
Maybe I'm just old fashioned.
I hold open doors for people ...all people not just pretty women.
I say please and thank you and good morning and yes I even smile at people.
And most importantly, if it is my responsibility to get something done. particularly when it may effect others, I make sure it gets done.
If getting something done is your responsibility, hold yourself accountable and make sure that it gets done!
Shabbat Shalom! 

David Spiegel

1 comment:

  1. David,
    Interesting article, and thanks for tossing the question my way!

    Accountability is essential. And, while individualism is a spice that makes creativity more lively, it does not give leaders (or anyone else) any right to overlook the rights and needs of others. A leader's first task is to serve. To find a need and fill it, influencing others along the way to contribute.

    Forgetting is never an excuse. In fact, high performance, centered leaders do not make excuses. Here's the trouble with excuses: they do not accomplish anything AND no one believes them. All an excuse does is put a scar on whatever trust exists.

    We all make mistakes. We all require forgiveness. But making excuses (especially lame ones) implies permission to keep being sloppy with those mistakes. No such permission exists.

    Thanks for again generating great ideas!

    Doug Smith