ACCOUNTABILITY: It’s Not About Criticism. It’s About Clarity

In my role of board chair in a non-profit organization I’ve felt some strain the past few weeks. I’ve imagined that the executive director is unhappy with the board and am wondering whether we’re best serving this organization. An incredible board member who has been the glue holding the organization together since it’s inception is stepping down now that her tenure is up. I’ve been questioning if I’m able to fill her shoes. It’s stressful when you are unsure if you are meeting the expectations of the people who depend on you.

What I’m going to do this week is meet with the executive director and ask for help. We are going to discuss and negotiate what we expect from each other and how to best support each other. We will clarify how we define success in this organization, our agreements with each other, how to measure expected results, and what to do if either of us inadvertently gets off track. In short, we’re going to reset the compass of our relationship.

What we’re going to do is be accountable to each other. It’s not about blame or accusations or fault-finding or finger-pointing. It’s about ownership and clear agreements.

Accountability lies at the foundation of every good relationship. It’s meant to foster trust, decrease stress, build fulfilling connections, and get a grip on results that matter.