by Ron Stein
Updated 2 months ago
Imagine a situation in your business when a key deal falls through, and the blame game shifts into high gear.
Or, where the CEO decided to unilaterally redefine the way customers are billed for the services they use in order to increase revenue -- without telling anyone including customers?
How about when the team blasts past their quotas and then the company suddenly decides to retroactively change the compensation plan. No reason or justification is given.
What would you do? The long term and ongoing success of an organization requires people to explain why something happened and also take ownership.
This is all about two ideas that are more than concepts; accountability and transparency. It’s how leaders lead at all levels of a company. How the folks in operations, finance, marketing, sales, engineering, and management respect and trust others in the company, up and down the line.
And how buyers view a business and decide to become paying customers.
There’s no question that accountability and transparency go hand in hand. According to BusinessDictionary.com, accountability is the “obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner . . . which lacks hidden agendas and conditions.”
Selling your team on the need to conduct business with a strong dose of accountability and transparency, because it’s in their best interest, will lead to more sales. Here’s how to do it.
Reminded everyone what’s expected. This should be a “duh,” yet expectations are rarely set correctly and usually not very clear. The team as a whole, and individually, must be constantly reminded. The key is to explicitly establish what different people in the organization are accountable for and to who -- CEO to and from VP; VP to and from director; director to and from managers; managers to and from the front-line team. And of course, CEO to the entire company. The “from” is critical as this is a two-way relationship. Bosses need to be accountable to and for the success of their team members -- all in a transparent way.
Do it now. When something doesn’t go as planned, don’t wait to have a conversation with the person you are responsible for and your boss who is responsible for you. Discuss, firmly and clearly, just don’t scold or yell. No finger pointing and no excuses allowed. Slip-ups happen, although it’s not always a straightforward explanation. Get to the root of the cause while it’s fresh in everyone’s mind. The risk is that the longer you delay this conversation, the more expectations are lowered. Perhaps a new perspective and “hole in the process” will be discovered or simply a team member failed to do their job. Either way reset expectations and make sure accountability is clear.
Build transparency and accountability into a your company’s DNA. Be an example -- hold yourself accountable and act transparently. Then it’s easier for others to realize the same is expected of them and to follow your lead. It’s simple really; communicate often and be consistent in your actions and statements. Make this a daily practice for yourself and let others in your organization know that you expect the same of them. When companies make it practice to keep information flowing up and down the chain of command, stress decreases and team engagement skyrockets. This is how a business works smarter, gets things done more efficiently, and sells more of their products and services -- building a great culture along the way.
Companies that hold people accountable and add transparency to the business environment achieve great results.
Who’s holding you accountable?
Ron Stein is founder of More Customers Academy, helping business leaders build strategic messaging and positioning that cuts through the competitive noise to grow revenue. Ron has developed his own highly successful 5-step Stand Out & Sell More approach to winning new customers as a result of his twenty-five years of business development, marketing, and selling experiences. He works with a range of businesses, from startups to large corporations across industries including technology and healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services and banking. Ron conducts workshops, leads company meetings, offers keynote talks, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or by email.