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Real Leaders Foster Growth: Expectations & Accountability

With annual review time coming around the corner — you know, the awkward, reckoning meeting in which you sit down with your manager, or if you're a manager, sit down with your employees or employer and have the performance evaluation conversation — the concept of expectations and accountability arise.

Employees, managers, CEOs alike all get hung up on the areas of improvement.

Those meetings cause us to humble ourselves, introspect, and address our performance areas that are lacking to grow into a better professionals.

These conversations are always the hardest.

One might appreciate the feedback, reflect inwards, and consciously apply it, or they might get defensive, tune the feedback out, think about something else entirely or forget about the input altogether. Or worse, you as a leader might fail as well, creating an ineffective workplace culture.

Here are three tips for leaders on how to give practical, constructive feedback to ensure you're setting clear expectations and providing proper accountability for productive and progressive company culture.

If You Don't Write it Down, It's Not Going to Happen.

Whether you write in a formal performance improvement plan or another formal document, employees will revisit your conversation and mentally (or physically) tick off their performance indicators.

In these situations, it's essential to:

  • Explain your expectations clearly

  • Utilize easy to understand language

  • Provide written documentation

Leaders Check-In With Their Team

Regular check in's with your team is an area that tests our leadership skills. Unfortunately, many leaders fall off, making them ineffective in creating and fostering real, long-lasting change. Businesses and organizations don't grow alone. Why should we expect our employees to grow on their own?

Don't wait for the quarterly review!

  • Schedule regular weekly or bi-weekly check-ins to ensure partnership growth

  • Create regularly scheduled meetings, utilizing timelines and deadlines to establish expectations and accountability for everyone to pull their weight

Celebrate Successes, Or Re-Evaluate Their Ability to Grow Internally

As a leader, you are accountable for the success of the team and the organization for which you work. Serve those to the best of your ability.

If someone is making progress, you want to document those successes. Celebrate their wins and acknowledge them with the employee.

However, everything is not for everybody. If one isn't meeting expectations, help them seek excellence elsewhere.

Your job as a leader is to:

  • Bring the best out of everyone

  • Set clear expectations

  • Hold everyone accountable to those expectations


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