Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


Captain Accountability

Volume: July-Mid 2011

By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com


Welcome to the summer blockbuster season. Perhaps you have seen some of this year’s cinematic offerings, featuring a bevy of larger than life figures wielding special-fantastic powers. Well, the business world has a superhero to unveil as well. The superhero of our adventure, however, is a seemingly ordinary leader who possesses an increasingly rare power. Our leader has the power to hold other people accountable. Let’s call her Captain Accountability. (Okay, this newsletter gets a bit cheesier, but in a moment there are some golden nuggets for you to ponder). Yes, Captain Accountability can do it all: Communicate, collaborate, build a great team, and get things done. Captain Accountability cuts through staffing and budgetary kudzu like a knife. My, my, how does she do it? Let’s take a look at the components of her secret powers.


  1. A sense of duty. Captain Accountability feels a deep sense of commitment to her organization. Her desire to serve and strengthen the organization overwhelms her inherent temptation to be non-confrontational. As such, she is professionally confrontational with regard to holding people accountable to their commitments and duties.  


  1. Effective non-verbal communication. Captain Accountability has command of her non-verbal communication. She ensures that her facial expressions and gestures accentuate her verbal messages. Also, she never crosses her arms (unless she is purposely trying to intimidate someone). The result of her non-verbal mastery is that she conveys clear messages that “stick.”


  1. A mantra of collaboration. Captain Accountability’s organization has several areas of responsibility and each is critically dependent on the other. She understands that in a matrix structure such as her company’s, collaboration between leaders and team members is paramount to overall team success. More than just stressing collaboration, she has made collaborative efforts and successes a measure that appears on each team member’s annual review.


  1. Building and reinforcing a sense of team. This trait is one of the hallmarks of Captain Accountability. She sponsors workplace team building events, rewards team members who are nominated by their peers for going above and beyond the call of duty, and makes public announcements every time her team helps the community.


  1. Results-driven. At the heart of things, Captain Accountability is driven by team accomplishment. And nothing drives results more efficiently than holding people accountable.    


Bottom Line: Real superheros do not wear a cape, transform, or turn green – they are much more than that. The kind of superhero that I would pay money to see is authentic, focused, fair, and expects the best from their team members. At the end of the day a real superhero holds themselves and others accountable for delivering standout results. And nothing positively transforms people more than that. 


Doug Van Dyke is a leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. He is also the author of Leadership Simplified – THE Field Guide for Savvy Leaders.  Doug’s audios and videos are also available atwww.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about consulting services, coaching, and training, or to have Doug help your team work together better, contact him today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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