Accountability is a shared thing between two or more people.It’s not a one-way thing. The dynamic accompanying accountability changes dramatically if accountability goes both ways. The problem, of course, is that usually that’s not how it’s orchestrated. Typically, the one with the most positional power calls the “subordinate” into his/her larger, more luxurious office, where he/she then — and this is the phrase — “holds the ‘subordinate’ accountable.” That conversation is generally pretty one-sided, save for perhaps a couple patronizing questions.
That, my friends, is not accountability. That’s an assertion of power. A scolding. A corrective conversation. But it’s not what accountability should look like.
Accountability should be a shared thing. It’s two or more people holding each other accountable to agreed upon and committed to group goals and expectations. As it relates to a team, it’s the entire team, including the leader, holding each other accountable.