Strong accountability wards off complacency, strengthens our culture, and validates standards, values and our personal credibility. However, many managers fail in this critically, fundamental responsibility and damage the same competitive advantages listed above. I have given this some critical thought the last few days and put together five common sense reasons managers fail to hold salespeople (employees/assets) accountable along with a few strategies to overcome these undeveloped managerial skills. Remember a skill is possessing an ability to do something well or a particularly developed ability. We all have the ability to hold our staff responsible. If it is something we struggle with then it is an undeveloped skill. A skill that is valuable and important in our organizational behavior. Before we “jump in” take the time to read the following Law of Success and memorize it and find a way to have it embedded into your memory. When we own this particular Law of Success then we will more easily recognize the signs of where our immediate call to action is needed in holding our sales staff responsible.
SUCCESS LEADS TO ARROGANCE.
ARROGANCE LEADS TO COMPLACENCY.
COMPLACENCY LEADS TO FAILURE.
Common Sense Reason #1: The Manger is Lazy.
This is a sad and dangerous situation for any dealership, which normally manifests in robust periods of business when the leader has become complacent and more content to preside in his office, polish a chair with his rear end, and wait for something to happen. The only thing that sits its way to success is a hen. (Think about it)
Strategy: Put down your coffee and paperwork for a moment and “GO DO” your job; while you still have it.
Leaders that stop leading eventually lose their results, relevance, and position—in that order.
Common Sense Reason #2: The Manager is Indifferent.
A manager is most susceptible to becoming indifferent towards accountability when business is really good or even remotely good. He or she knows that holding people accountable is the right thing to do, but it does not seem as urgent as long as the winning numbers are there. Often the common thought is, “Why rock the boat when things are going so well?”
Strategy: Understand that abandoned, expected disciplines during the good times plants seeds for an eventual decline; it is only a matter of time. Success and Failure are never an accident. The wrong seeds we plant eventually come home to haunt us. The only question is not “if” but “when?”
Common Sense Reason #3: The Manager is Weak.
This manager would rather be popular and well-liked than do his or her job. Instead they choose peace and harmony over truth. As a result, they hurt the team member that is not performing well rather than help them. This is because failing to confront a poor performance allows it to continue (silence is a small form of a reward). By our allowing and building bad habits we eventually bring our team member to a place where we must possibly terminate; and in many cases they never see it coming because we failed to do our job.
Strategy 1: Define clear performance expectations so that holding someone accountable is easier, as we will then have a clear benchmark to point to as a reference point.
Strategy 2: Realize and own the FACT that it is not harsh to hold someone accountable. What is more reprehensibly harsh is letting our people fail on our watch because we did not care enough about them to confront and correct their performance.
Common Sense Reason #4: The Manager is Ignorant.
Holding people accountable is truly a skill. It requires the establishment of clear expectations, FAST FEEDBACK (Waiting loses its impact and relevance), and applicable consequences for task failure. If we have never
been taught this skill we are then ignorant, and training can correct our course.
Strategy: Learn what to do, then do what you know, consistently and without exception.
Common Sense Reason #5: The Manager is Stupid.
Sadly, some managers know what to do, but fail to hold people accountable anyhow. They then ignore this critical, relevant responsibility knowing that their managing failure hurts the culture, customer experience, team member morale, momentum and their own personal credibility. To truly understand these tragic consequences, yet persist in this fateful error can only be described as flat out STUPID.
Strategy: Correct our course quickly. While we all do stupid things occasionally, choosing to make it a lifestyle is moronic.
Personal BIG TIME note to managers:
It is never too late or too early to re-focus our efforts and desire. It is only too late when we are cleaning out our own office. The beauty of our industry is that with sustained energy and drive, tangible results are available quickly. Develop your own non-negotiables with all your employees and find a way to work “with them” not “against them.” You must possess and relentlessly strive to meet your own important objectives in building your winning business. I am anxious to learn and hear about how some of the things you are doing or will be getting back to doing to tap into your own unlimited growth potential. This “Food For Thought” theme is simple and the vision is clear. It is ultimately up to all of us to inspect the things we expect and react when we must, IMMEDIATELY. Have a great weekend.