Trust, Responsibility and Accountability

I find I’m a little annoyed at the state of top public leadership here in the UK currently. Recently a senior politician has resigned, but only very reluctantly and not for the incompetence that they should actually have been sacked for long ago. It is so frustrating.

But the people I know in leadership positions in the workplace, aren’t like those politicians. Whether they’re in the public or the private sectors, the real leaders I know are Trustworthy, Responsible and Accountable.

Some questions for you:

  • Are you feeling the same about things at the moment – because maybe it’s just me?
  • What are your thoughts on what those qualities in the title of this post actually mean?
  • Are those qualities so difficult to grasp that it’s not possible to live up to them?

Maybe I’m too simplistic. But I do like things to be plain and understandable. If I was to define those qualities in the form of an easy to answer question, here’s what I think they mean:

Trustworthy – to me this means asking ourselves, “Did I actually do what I said I would do?”

Over time, you can build up a picture of who someone is on the basis of what they actually do. We are after all defined by our actions  – and they speak so much louder than words!

Responsible – to me this means asking ourselves, “Did I do the right thing?”

There’s an element of moral obligation for me in being responsible. It’s not just about being the person in charge – anybody can and should choose to take action and not ignore what needs to be done. And in so choosing, to choose to do the right thing.

Accountable – to me this means asking ourselves, “Am I willing to openly justify what I did?”

Accountable is often used as a synonym for responsible, but they’re not the same, as the definition above shows.

So leaders should:

  1. Do what they said they would
  2. Do the right things
  3. Be willing to openly justify what they did.

Measured against those definitions, how well do the leaders you know, at work and elsewhere measure up?

And how does your own leadership do against those?

Either leave a comment below if they’re still open at the time of reading, or tweet me @nickrobcoach.

Leaders should: • Do what they said they would; • Do the right things; • Be willing to openly justify what they did. Do you agree? Click To Tweet