Most people understand this. And yet, we still have so many mediocre leaders in our organizations. In a survey of over 2,000 senior executives and HR leaders, two-thirds said that leadership accountability was a critical issue for their organization, but only one-third were happy with their leaders’ level of accountability, and only 27% believed they had a strong leadership culture.
When we dug deeper into that survey, we began to see the clear links between accountability and business performance. Industry-leading companies were twice as likely to have a culture of leadership accountability as lower-performing competitors. These industry leaders were more likely than others to have:
- Clear expectations for their leadership teams
- Strong programs in place to identify and train high-potential future leaders
- A deliberate focus on diversity and building more diverse leadership teams
- Formal leadership development programs to help leaders at all levels improve
Leadership teams at high-performing companies also set themselves apart. Leaders at the best companies are far more likely to:
- Clearly understand customer needs
- See and understand external trends that affect the company
- Develop emotional maturity
- Exhibit passion for the company’s purpose and strategy
The gap between companies at the top and average or poor performers can be huge. Leadership accountability is a proven key differentiator that drives strong business performance and helps companies rise to the top.
Leaders at any level of an organization can evaluate and work to change their leadership culture. Here are some key questions to get you started on this process of reflection:
- Has your organization made leadership accountability a top priority?
- Are the expectations for leaders clear and clearly understood?
- Are your organization’s leaders fully committed to doing the hard work of leadership?
- Is your organization’s leadership culture aligned at all levels?
- Does your organization take action to address mediocre leadership?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of those questions, you have work to do in order to build more leadership accountability throughout your organization and drive the performance that will help your organization thrive.