Accountable for your “bag”

Ever feel like you’re bent over backwards trying to get others to engage?  Whether the goal is innovation, quality, better performance or more positive attitudes, the situation is the same – we’re trying to inspire others to move to a better (more productive, more lucrative, more healthy…) place.

As managers, HR and OD professionals, coaches and consultants we are tasked with the responsibility for motivating others to change.

So…what ARE we doing wrong?

Well, you can check out these perspectives for a few of the answers (from picking up trash to helping too much) but if I – personally – were to pick just one thing? It would be “mismanaged accountability”.

  • Organizations are accountable for picking a strong market and committing to a clear direction
  • Leaders are accountable for navigating the business and the people through smooth and rough times along that chosen direction
  • Managers are accountable for understanding the goals, resourcing their teams and managing performance to support that direction
  • Employees are accountable for understanding their job and performing their best work for fair compensation
  • Educators are accountable for preparing students for the work contexts they will encounter
  • Students are accountable for exploring their possibilities and potential
I think if we were better at asking ourselves “Who’s holding what bag at the end of the day” and were honest about the answer and were courageous enough to say and do the things necessary to ensure that everyone was responsible for understanding and caring for and thinking creatively about their own bag, well…we’d all be more engaged.
It’s a big job – but we can do it.  At the very least we can influence it. By being clear about our goals, our roles, our responsibilities and our relationships.  By being honest enough and brave enough to push the boundaries for change, to be accountable for our part and to ask that others who choose to participate to be accountable for theirs.
Whether you agree or you have an entirely different answer – my hope is to provide both inspiration and very practical tools to support you in meeting your goals of motivation, engagement, productivity and good management.


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  1. Pingback: Measuring Engagement

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