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By Darryl Stewart

How to hold people accountable without being a jerk about it

If you lead others or you are a parent of older kids, you have probably experienced the feeling that the people you lead don’t seem to be working with you sometimes. You feel like you are doing stuff for them to try and get them to play along, fulfill their responsibilities, and move things forward. It seems unfair and it drags you down after awhile.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could move more towards the feeling that you are working with people, working towards a common goal, with everyone doing their part?

With instead of for. It is a powerful idea.

One of the simplest ways to move from for to with is to set a deadline. Agreeing on stuff to get done without a deadline, allows you and the person you are leading to let things slide, not address ther not discuss the support they require, and articulate the details you forgot to give. It removes your mutual responsibility to ensure success.

If you are experiencing the leadership burnout I have so often felt in the past, and you are not using deadlines, look no further to take a big step. forward When you communicate clearly with someone what needs doing and you both agree on a deadline, they feel more ownership and you feel more like a support and a coach and less like a nagging task master.

When setting the deadlines, I almost always defer to the person I am leading. Often when they pick a time frame, I think it is too ambitious and I end up coaching them to be more realistic. I do this because I know I am going to be holding them accountable for it and I want us to succeed together. I do this for both of us as we will both feel satisfied when the deadline is met. Blowing it hurts both of us.

Moving from for to with requires deadlines.

Thanks to Dr. Malik Muhammad for giving me the words to explain agreed deadlines and to improve
accountability and happiness.

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