Leadership through Eyes of a Coach...Alan Booth

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The most frequently heard dilemma I hear from managers in my NYU Leadership class is creating accountability of their direct reports. My coaching and consulting clients agree and describe the challenge around getting others to step up their performance...to think creatively, lead change with greater initiative and deal proactively with people issues rather than ignore them.

Yesterday a CEO called me for help with his VP Marketing, describing disorganization and weak time management that could risk millions in lost business. In over one year nothing has changed. So, where is the ownership of this problem...with him or his VP?

The question I ask is: "How can we create an owner mindset with this person?"

My experience with the past 10 clients I have worked with this year shows that leaders & managers do more to NOT create "ownership" but cause the opposite: a dependency bordering on a "permission" relationship.

Second is the observation that leaders are not clear enough communicating their expectations, not only the measuable results but the actions most critical to achieving those results.

The test: ask any of your people what they think you expect of them, this week, month or quarter. Their response will provide the kind of feedback that will guide you to being more clear, more frequently and greater commitments on both sides...witch will begin to shift the accountabity to where it belongs.