The phrase Own It in magazine letters on a cork notice board

HA! (Hold Accountable)

October 27, 2016

By Mark David

Some favorite expressions of small children: “It’s not my fault. I couldn’t help it. They made me do it. I didn’t mean to. I forgot.”

Some favorite expressions of small adults: “It’s not my job. No one told me. I can’t do everything. Don’t blame me. It couldn’t be helped.”

HA! is one of my favorite little acronyms. HA! stands for “Hold Accountable.” I use it to remind leaders that the failure of their team to take responsibility for their own choices and actions is no laughing matter. Initially, it’s the coach’s responsibility to communicate clear expectations to the team. From there, each team member must embrace personal accountability for his/her performance. And if they don’t, then it becomes the leader’s job to (HA!) “hold them accountable.”

Holding all your team members accountable for the consequences of their behavior requires courage, consistency and fairness—but it’s a powerful motivator and team builder.

I can walk into a company, spend an hour with a team of people and know simply by their self-talk whether they are set up as a winning or losing team. Losing teams place the blame; winning teams embrace accountability. Losing teams point fingers; winning teams say, “We made a mistake, next time we’ll do better.” Losing teams always have an excuse; winning teams always have a solution or an idea.

Excerpt from The New Coaching Illustrated
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