Sink or Swim: Why Accountability Is So Important Now

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Chances are that if you’ve successfully become a CEO, you know what you’re doing. You’ve demonstrated that you’re a capable leader, you get the right results and you’ve shown shareholders that you have what it takes to maintain a good reputation and keep the company running. But as the wave of recession draws near and companies face pressing obligations to show profits, the ability of leaders to hold themselves accountable and accountable to their employees and shareholders will determine whether they sink. Let’s swim

For the past few years, tech companies especially have found themselves with truly incredible cash flow at their disposal; Investors were concerned less with profitability than with innovation. However, as interest rates continue to rise and people tighten their wallets, companies are in a completely different position than they were just a few months ago. Leaders need to recognize this shift in external market forces beyond their control and think about their execution plans for 2023.

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I’m not suggesting knee-jerk reactions; However, to be successful, we need to start thinking in terms of “nice-to-haves” and “must-haves”. Protect your essentials, but be prepared to pare down your best-to-best if necessary. I don’t recommend cutting right now. Instead, monitor the right leading indicators so that you can react and adjust when necessary, with commitment and courage.

Great execution demands that we have a plan B in case things don’t go the way we predicted or the way we’d like; Companies that do not have a Plan B for success will have poor performance in the near future. Poor performance is defined as meeting the commitments you made. If you don’t have a Plan B and aren’t prepared to adjust, you’ll probably miss out on your commitments to customers that show up in the financial commitments left on the street – and when it comes to financial commitments The road is disabled.

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Some companies are growing at all costs, burning cash, banking on an unlimited supply from wealthy investors. Adjusting our mindset can be difficult, but it is necessary, as the street has already indicated that we need to prioritize profitability. It is an adjustment that is necessary to win in this current market. You don’t need to get to profitability right away, but it’s better to chart a clear path to profitability and not miss your milestones along the way. It sounds like a simple mindset change, but it is not; Don’t underestimate what it will take to achieve this change and the importance of communicating this change to all leaders, messaged in a way that is motivating for the entire company.

Don’t Lose Focus: Prioritize Accountability in Yourself and Others

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Many of these failures stem from a lack of follow through on obligations. Leaders have a multitude of commitments—to shareholders, customers, buyers, employees and themselves—that seem important during good times but downright important in bad times. Whenever a commitment is reduced, prioritized or otherwise ignored, companies lose money. This is a major leak that must be fixed if a company wants to stay afloat during such turbulent times, let alone charge forward; Companies must become efficient and fast.

However, holding yourself and others accountable isn’t just about efficiency. If you make a wrong choice and make the execution of that action more efficient, all you’re doing is making something worse faster. Execution is about getting things done correctly, on time, and on budget, and it’s harder than it sounds—especially for large companies with lots of moving parts. The key is building the right systems, networks and protocols, then increasing efficiency. To do this, we must often take on the most loathed responsibility we have as leaders: having difficult conversations with colleagues.

This is another thing that sounds simple in theory but is often very difficult to achieve in practice. If there is a problem with someone’s style, work or attitude, you talk to him about it and together you reach a solution, right? Collaboration is the key to success. However, it takes skill to collaborate and have difficult conversations. It’s more natural to circle the wagons and look inward within your teams, rather than outward, to collaborate with other teams and departments. It’s hard to think of the best use of resources, not just for your team, but for the company. Thinking only about your team leads to silos. This leads to rework, waste and missed commitments. Working in your silo is the choice of fools. As effective and successful leaders, we must make the unusual choice to reach out to other teams and departments to collaborate.

I am often asked: how do you eat a 7 ton elephant? The general answer is one bite at a time. I do not think so. Eating and digesting one elephant bite at a time still takes a long time and will cause indigestion. No, I like to eat baby elephant! Essentially, what you don’t want to do is ignore the elephant in the room until it is too big to handle. But this is the position leaders repeatedly find themselves in, turning a blind eye to problems that could have been addressed six months or a year ago, now becoming a huge emotional and financial drain. The more politicians shy away from these tough accountability conversations, the more money goes down the drain.

Denying a communication breakdown is where leaders unintentionally waste the most time: Things are working fine! What are we worrying about? He may not be the best leader, but he achieved his quarterly target last month. Oh, their department heads keep quitting? I’m sure it will end. and on and on. Eventually, you have no choice but to come face to face with that 7 ton elephant—and he is not happy.

It’s important for leaders to have those difficult conversations to open up direct and respectful lines of communication that reduce heartache in the long run. When this communication comes from mutual respect and understanding, both parties will have a solid foundation from which to build a healthy organization. In fact, most of the people I’ve had conversations like this thank me for being honest and helping them become better leaders. Once these issues are resolved, the real work can begin.

create efficient systems

Once you’ve mastered the hurdle of being honest with your people, it’s time to examine your current processes, communications, and what your company defines as “good” execution practices for tasks and projects. opens a door for

In my book, the proof of good execution is the right focus, clarity, and accountability for achieving your commitments. This is performance. It just means that you did what you were supposed to do with the resources you were given, and somehow exceeded expectations (perhaps by finishing a project well in six days instead of seven). However, it is not just about the contribution of the team member; Each one is part of a dynamic, constantly adjusting ecosystem that relies heavily on clear communication between branches.

Good execution gets you good performance, and as companies take a closer look at their processes, they have noticed that there are huge gaps in them. They see their current styles of communication leave pockets of error and stagnation, not only among managers and subordinates, but also among supposedly “effective” individual project contributors across departments. The plan has backfired across the corridor. This is a huge efficiency drain, and less efficiency usually equals less profit. During a recession, the worst thing you can do is waste money.

Creating cross functional discussion and planning across departments is a good way to ensure collaboration with everyone involved in enterprise projects in your company. A well maintained and regularly tested software system that unites all workers for the necessary cause and allows leaders to prioritize and plan will prove to be highly effective in the long run. Having strong systems in place creates a culture of accountability; Direct and respectful lines of communication, clear expectations, and personal responsibility go a long way in driving efficient execution. Prioritizing these things in every employee and leader will ensure that wastage of money is kept to a minimum.

As the recession drags on, it is imperative that leaders look inward and commit to creating a company culture of accountability and fulfilling obligations to themselves and their teams. fortune favors the Bold. Act boldly with courage and urgency—don’t let an impending recession scare you. Focus on your commitments, get clear on what success looks like, then execute ferociously!

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