21 Days of Leadership
“Tina, I’m feeling frustrated that my team isn’t getting stuff done when they said they would.”
I hear a variation of this from business owners at least once a week, and I get it – when stuff isn’t getting done it can be downright annoying!
There are a few reasons why this may be happening, but one of the most common that I see – and the easiest to fix! – is that you aren’t holding them accountable.
It is one thing to ask someone to do something, but if you don’t hold them accountable then it leaves the request as an open loop. Which means the work may or may not get done, especially when that person is juggling multiple priorities and multiple clients (as many virtual support professionals are).
The easiest way to hold someone accountable? Ask them about it.
You get what you inspect – what you ask about – and not just what you expect. Or as I like to say (somewhat tongue in cheek), the squeaky wheel gets the grease. 😉
Agree on a deadline. Remind them of that deadline (via your weekly team meetings and automating reminders in your virtual office/ project management tool) and ask them about the status of the task the day BEFORE it’s due. If they don’t get the work done have them own the reason why and come to you with a solution and/or new timeline.
It’s human nature to want to do great work. No one wants to be the person to show up and not have their work done. And yet, most of us need a loving reminder of what is coming up and when it’s due. We need to know that someone is waiting on us and that the work we do matters.
Yes, I get that you may wish you never had to ask questions and follow up with your team. That you could just hand them a task and they would just get everything done without you having to check in at all. That falls more into the realm of abdication vs. delegation.
A leader embraces that it is part of their job to create a culture of accountability. To create a team where people own up to what did and didn’t get done, and why.
And the beauty is – once you create a culture of accountability you won’t have to ask so much. It’s a good thing.
I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.