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  • Writer's pictureTerry Dockery

Teamwork vs. Accountability

Effective teamwork is essential for scaling up your business. I can't remember a single consulting engagement in which communication and teamwork wasn't one of the top opportunities for performance improvement.

During the engagement I always ask the leadership team "Who is accountable for the financial performance of the business?" Inevitably they answer in unison "We all are!"

So I cleverly retort "So if we need to make major adjustments in your business model to get better financial results, then we need a unanimous consensus among the members of the leadership team?".

Clearly this is a trick question because they know that an over reliance on consensus is a major dysfunction of a team.

The lesson here is that you can't hold a team accountable because it's too unwieldy and time consuming for running a high-performance business. You can only hold individuals accountable, and the individual who is accountable for the financial performance of the business is the top decision maker, usually the President or CEO.

Sure, everyone has a role in creating financial performance, but the accountability lies squarely on the shoulders of the person who has the power to make the changes necessary to make these changes.

That's how the strengths and weaknesses of the leader become the strengths and weaknesses of the business. While this responsibility is considerable, the good news is that you have the control to do what is necessary for success. It's important to use it wisely.

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