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Soumik Kar

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“Ambiguity can be the Achilles heel of accountability”
Moelis India CEO Manisha Girotra on how to instil a culture of accountability

Make accountability a lived value:  Accountability has to be in your team’s DNA. There has to be consensus on why collective accountability will lead to organisational growth. That sense of ownership will pave the foundation for team members to contribute.

Build an environment of trust: In today’s fiercely competitive corporate culture, the internal environment tends to become low-trust, which distracts people from focusing on the solution with each one busy guarding his or her corner. It is critical for a leader to lead from the front and build confidence in his or her team. A confident, self- assured workforce will not shun accountability.

Establish a clear performance matrix:  It is imperative that specific and measureable goals are set and communicated. With these goals must be linked consequences. Good performance should be rewarded and lauded while poor performers must suffer repercussions. While accountability should be a collective responsibility, individual goals must be clear and transparent to ensure there is no diffusion of responsibility.

Train and equip: Ambiguity can be the Achilles heel of accountability. Defined expectations must be supported with specific coaching and skill development. Accountability is a two-way street. The leader cannot expect his or her team to be accountable unless the senior leadership walks the talk, or else that expectation gap will soon manifest as an execution gap. 

Focus relentlessly on relationships: A leader’s relationship with his or her team will reflect strongly in the difference between mandated compliance and voluntary commitment to a common cause. That determines whether people will just do their job or go the extra mile. How many employees finally make accountability a way of life is a direct reflection of your leadership style. 

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