Being a leader means more than just having followers – it involves being trustworthy, reliable, and accountable. It means taking responsibility for the well-being of your organization, your team and your own actions.
While it can be challenging, it’s important to own up to mistakes and admit when you’re wrong. However, being accountable goes beyond just acknowledging failures – it means being honest, open to feedback and willing to hear new perspectives and ideas. As challenging as it may seem at first, being accountable as a leader can encourage your team and help you improve as a leader.
Here are five ways accountability can benefit your leadership.
1. Lessen fear of failure.
As a leader, you may find yourself worried about making mistakes or being wrong. By openly acknowledging your shortcomings and talking with your team, you’ll find that your fears were bigger than they seemed and that making a mistake isn’t the end of the world. Talking through your shortcomings will help you feel less afraid to make mistakes and take ownership of them in the future.
2. Set an example.
While setting clear expectations for your team is important, your team will ultimately follow your example. Your words and actions determine how your followers will respond to you as a leader and to each other. By being honest and accountable as a leader, you set the tone of your organization by empowering your team to do the same.
3. Create a culture of transparency.
It’s important that your team feels you are honest and truthful with them. By being accountable as a leader and taking responsibility for your actions, you’ll allow space for continual discussion and growth. Your team will feel like they can come to you with their concerns, openly discuss ways to improve and feel free to share their own shortcomings.
4. Build trust.
Once you show your team what you expect of them by being open and honest, you begin to create a relationship built on trust. Your team will know that you have integrity, value their opinions and care about doing right by them. By taking responsibility for your actions, openly discussing your shortcomings and being open to constructive feedback, you can strengthen your team and help them to trust you as a leader.
5. Help you grow.
Acknowledging your failures to your team and creating space for feedback allows you to learn from your mistakes. By taking responsibility for your actions and asking how you can improve, you position yourself to hear valuable insights and perspectives. Taking the time to learn new ways to improve will help you to grow as a leader and demonstrate maturity and responsibility.
Making mistakes as a leader is inevitable. Instead of getting stuck worrying about the future or what might go wrong, start being open and honest now. Having honest discussions with your team and being open to their insights will help create an environment of trust and respect – helping you feel supported and unafraid to make mistakes in the future.