I have been citing the “Corner Office” (NY Times) a few times lately, but I can’t help but do it again. Recently the guest was Salesforce COO George Hu (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/19/business/salesforcecom-executive-on-seeking-out-challenges.html?src=recg). When asked about leadership lessons, he turns to the importance of communication and alignment. He says, “We use this process called V2MOM, which stands for vision, values, methods, obstacles and measures.”
In this model, the vision and values part is the alignment component, basically what we are going to do and how we are going to do it (i.e., (my words) how we are going to treat each other and our customers). I know that “alignment” is one of those terms that has been overworked but, in this case, maybe for a reason: it is important.
In some past blogs I have shared my ALAMO model of performance:
Performance = Alignment x (Ability x Motivation x Opportunity)
While all four variables in the model can drive a fatal blow by going to zero, Alignment is the only one that can also be a negative value because it can actually draw resources away from the organization if the individual/team/organization is working on the wrong thing. “Working on the wrong thing” can be accidental (by misdiagnosis or misdirection), or even purposeful (such as sabotage, where a very motivated person can destroy value).
Misalignment can happen to both the vision and the values part of his model, but I would like to focus on the Values part as it relates to the role that 360 Feedback can play in focusing the alignment of behaviors throughout the organization.
Many organizations have Values statements, often met with some well-deserved cynicism as a plaque on the wall. Stating a value (e.g., Respect for the Individual”) must go much farther than just defining it. It must also must be defined in behavioral terms, that is, what an employee is doing (or not doing) when they are exhibiting that value.
Some of the most spirited meetings I have been in or led have been about what a Value means in behavioral terms. Many, many organizations have some version of Respect for the Individual in its Values list. But what does “respect” mean for your organization? Treating everyone the same regardless of level? Saying “thank you”? Acknowledging the viewpoints of others? Creating work-life balance (i.e, acknowledging personal lives)? Creating diversity in practice? You have to pick; the answer isn’t “all of the above.” A Value isn’t effective if it is vaguely defined or too encompassing.
One benefit of creating behavioral definitions of a value is making it very tangible if described specifically. I am reminded of the story of the homeowner who decided he need to fix his front sidewalk, spending all day on Saturday breaking up the old one, and replacing it with a nicely laid cement walkway. As the sun was setting, he looked out his window admiring his handy work only to see a dog run up and down the walk, leaving his footprints for posterity. The man got his gun (sorry) and shot the dog. When brought before the court, the judge looked down and asked, “Young man, just what were you thinking?” The man replied, “Your Honor, I really like dogs in the abstract, but not in the concrete.” Ba bump.
Values are very easy to like in the abstract, but much less so in the “concrete,” as in your actions. Just ask religious leaders about that.
Another value that might seem obvious to you but not others is Integrity. One version of Integrity is the core notion of telling the truth, not lying, not cheating, etc. But more and more we see organizations who see telling the truth as a given, and choose to use Integrity as communicating the more subtle message of “walking the talk, “ as in doing what you say you will do, following through on commitments, and following the same rules/expectations that you set for others.
An organization-wide 360 feedback process built around an organization’s Values has many powerful benefits, including:
- Reinforces the importance of the Values as part of the “how” side of performance
- Requires the identification of the behaviors that uniquely define the Values for the organization
- Are disseminated to all employees, usually requiring serious consideration as the raters perform their duties as feedback providers
- Creates accountability for follow through assuming development plans are integrated into performance management processes
- Creates a method for trending individual and organizational progress toward “living the Values.”
- Can be used to identify leaders who do not comply with the Values
We would like to think that Values statements are enduring and wouldn’t require change very often. But if the organization finds that it needs to change its emphasis to support strategy (e.g., more customer focus, quality, innovation, accountability), the message can be quickly operationalized by inserting the behaviors (labeled as a dimension to further create alignment) in the 360 that is used by all segments of the enterprise. This need to shift quickly is now called “Agility” in the vernacular, and organizations as well as individuals are being required to demonstrate it more than ever.
Alignment and Agility are intertwined, and communicate simultaneously focus and flexibility on both the Vision (“What”) and Values (“How”) that are uniquely defined by the organization. I would argue that Alignment is one activity that cannot be overdone or overused, which is one message I take away from George Hu’s lessons of leadership.
Finally, one other message to take away from Mr. Hu’s V2MOM: Measurement. Measurement reinforces Alignment, and you get what you measure. Measurement also creates accountability. And a 360 Assessment, well-designed and delivered, does both. We largely know how to measure the “what;” show me a better way to measure the “how.”
©2013 David W. Bracken
I still get the Sunday New York Times in “hard copy” on Sundays (in addition to the electronic version the other days), partly because my wife and I are addicted to the crosswords. Let me add that I am one of those people who mourn the fadeout of the newspaper, and often find that browsing the physical newspaper often exposes me to pieces of information that I would otherwise miss in the electronic version (whatever form your “browsing” takes, if at all). (I believe, for what it’s worth, that a similar phenomenon is happening in the music world with the ease of downloading single songs and probably less “browsing” of albums where some other gems are often lurking.)
Back on topic, the Sunday NYT also has a feature in the Business section called “Corner Office” where a business leader is interviewed. This week it was Francesca Zambello, general and artistic director of the Glimmerglass Festival and artistic director of the Washington National Opera. When asked about leadership lessons she has learned, she says:
When you’re in your 20s and have that leadership gene, the bad thing is that you don’t know when to shut up. You think you know all the answers, but you don’t. What you learn later is when to just listen to everybody else. I’m finding that all those adages about being humble and listening are truer and truer as I get older. Creativity cannot explode if you do not have the ability to step back, take in what everybody else says and then fuse it with your own ideas.
In the parallel universe of my personal life, my daughter Ali sent along an edition of the ABA Journal that references a study of the happiest and unhappiest workers in the US (http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/why_a_career_website_deems_associate_attorney_the_unhappiest_job_in_america/) that cites associate attorney as the unhappiest profession (which by coincidence is her husband’s job). If you don’t want to go to the link, the five unhappiest jobs are:
1) Associate attorney
2) Customer service associate
4) Registered nurse
The five happiest are:
1) Real estate agent
2) Senior quality assurance engineer
3) Senior sales representative
4) Construction superintendent
5) Senior applications designer
Looking at the unhappiest list and possible themes/commonalities among these jobs, one is lack of empowerment and probably similar lack of influence in their work and work environment. (The job of teacher may less so, and its inclusion on this list is certainly troubling and complicated I am sure). But I suspect that these first four jobs have a common denominator in the way they are managed that ties back to Ms. Zambello’s reflections on her early management style, i.e., having all the answers and not taking advantage of the knowledge and creativity of the staff. It also causes me to remember the anecdote of the GM retiree who mused, “They paid me for my body. They could have had my mind for free.”
This is certainly not an epiphany for most of us, but more serendipity that two publications this week once again tangentially converged on this topic. I will once again recommend Marshall Goldsmith’s book, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” that is a compendium of mistakes that leaders make in their careers, including behaviors that might have served them well when starting their career but lose their effectiveness as they move up the organization. The classic case being the subject matter expert who gets promoted and assumes that being the “expert” is always the road to success. In Marshall’s book there are 20 of these ineffective, limiting behaviors (some might call them “derailers”), and when we think of the prototypical leader who wants to be the “expert” and doesn’t listen, it potentially touches on multiple behaviors in the list of 20, including:
2. Adding too much value
6. Telling the world how smart we are
10. Failing to give proper recognition
11. Claiming credit we don’t deserve
13. Clinging to the past
16. Not listening
Considering this list as possible motivators for the umbrella behavior of “not listening,” we can see how it might be very challenging to change this behavior if the leader believes (consciously or unconsciously) that one or more of these factors are important to maintain, or (as Marshall also notes) are “just the way I am” and not changeable.
We behaviorists believe that any behavior is changeable, whether a person wants to change or not. What is required is first awareness, i.e., that there is a gap between their behavior and the desired/required behavior, followed by motivation to change that may come internal to the person, but more often requires external motivation that usually comes from accountability. Awareness and accountability are critical features of a valid 360 feedback process if designed to create sustainable behavior change.
Let me add that the “shut up and listen” mantra is a core behavior for coaches as well. This consultant believes that the challenge that most organizations have in morphing managers into effective coaches is also rooted in this core belief that the role of coach is to solve problems for their subordinates, versus listening to fully understand the issue and then help the subordinate “discover” the solution that best works for them and the situation.
This is a serious problem that has two major downsides. For one, it, at least in some major way, is likely a root cause of creating the “unhappy” job incumbents that in turn leads to multiple negative outcomes for the organization. The other major downside is a version of our GM retiree’s lament, that is, the organization is losing out capitalizing on a significant resource in the form of the individual and collective contributions of its workforce.
There may be no time in our history where involving our young workers is more critical, which includes listening to their input and empowering them to act. Consider the many reasons that this might be so:
- The pace of change, internally and externally, requires that we have processes that allow us to recognize and react in ways that most likely will diverge from past practices
- Younger workers bring perspectives on the environment, technology and knowledge that are often hidden from the older generations (that are, by the way, retiring)
- As the baby boomers do retire en masse, we need to be developing the next generation of leaders. Another aside, this means allowing them to fail, which is another leadership lesson that Ms. Zambello mentions (remember her?).
Listening is actually a very complex behavior to change, but it begins with increasing awareness of ineffectiveness, and the creating motivation to change by educating leaders on its negative consequences and lost opportunities.
©2013 David W. Bracken
One of my early posts was titled “Snakes in Suits” (http://dwbracken.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/snakes-in-suits/), which is also the title of a book about psychopaths in industry, specifically in leadership positions, and how skilled they are (because they are psychopaths) in escaping detection until the damage has been done. The blog post highlighted a 360 process whose primary purpose is to identify the bottom tail of the performance distribution, essentially managing the quality of the leadership cadre by fixing or removing the poorest performers/behaviors. The metaphor is pulling back the curtain on the pretender/offender, like Toto does in “The Wizard of Oz,” who has escaped discovery for many years through cleverness and deception. Of course, he cries out, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”
I got to thinking about this topic recently (no, not because of the new Wizard of Oz movie) when I got an update from Bill Gentry at the Center for Creative Leadership regarding his evolving thinking and research on the topic of Integrity (see his YouTube video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d7yQHHUL-Q&list=UU9ulOx1rJK5FMlC5gbS91cQ&index=1).
One of the possible reasons that the “Snakes in Suits” book didn’t get more traction in our field is the fact that true psychopaths are relatively rare in our society (maybe 3-5% of the population by some estimates), though their “cousins” (bullies, jerks, add your own adjectives) are much more prevalent and all can cause substantial damage. By expanding the definition of inappropriate behavior to include integrity (or lack thereof) as Dr. Gentry highlights, we now have a behavioral requirement that hopefully applies to every leader, and every employee for that matter.
One of Bill’s research articles uncovers a finding where integrity is identified as a critical trait for senior executives but much less so for mid-level executives. His hypothesis is that success in mid-management is much more on the “what” that is achieved (e.g., revenues, sales, budgets) than the “how” (e.g., adherence to the values of the organization). This de-emphasis on the “how” side of performance measurement causes organizations to promote leaders to the most senior levels without sufficient scrutiny of their character, resulting in some flawed leadership at the top of companies where integrity is essential (including some very high profile examples that Bill enumerates as part of his publications).
While I’m at it, I found another piece of research that relates to the significant impact that abusive management can have across large swaths of the organization. This article (cited below) suggests that employees partly attribute abusive supervision to negative valuation by the organization and, consequently, behave negatively toward and withhold positive contributions to it. In other words, employees may believe that abusive supervisors are condoned by the company, and then lose commitment and engagement to said organization. And there is probably a lot of truth in that logic.
Organizations have a responsibility to identify and to address situations where leaders are behaving badly, and the research cited above strongly suggests that it is in the best interests of organizations to do so. So how is that done? Many organizations rely on anonymous processes that encourage employees to “speak up” without fear of retribution. That is such a passive approach as to almost be amusing if it weren’t so important.
Of course, you know where I am going with this. A 360 Degree Feedback process that is consistently administered across the organization AND has provisions for the results being shared with the organization (e.g., Human Resources) is about the only way I can think of where this systemic problem can be addressed. This should be a critical aspect of Talent Management systems in organizations, and as common and ubiquitous as performance management. As the authors of “Snakes in Suits” point out, 360 feedback can be a powerful way to identify the “snakes” early in their careers. One problem is that these snakes are very skilled at avoiding detection by finding loopholes in inconsistently administered 360’s so that they don’t have to participate, or don’t have to share their feedback with anyone.
Who is that leader behind the curtain? It may be a wizard. It may be a jerk. It may be a hero to be honored. But we won’t know unless we have our Toto to pull back the curtain, hopefully before it’s too late.
Blaming the organization for abusive supervision: The roles of perceived organizational support and supervisor’s organizational embodiment. Shoss, Mindy K.; Eisenberger, Robert; Restubog, Simon Lloyd D.; Zagenczyk, Thomas J. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 98(1), Jan 2013, 158-168. doi: 10.1037/a0030687
©2013 David W. Bracken
I have recently had the opportunity to read two large benchmarking reports that relate to talent management, leadership development and, specifically, how 360 Feedback is being used to support those disciplines.
The first is the U.S. Office of Personnel Management “Executive Development Best Practices Guide” (November, 2012), in which includes both a compilation of best practices across 17 major organizations and a survey of Federal Government members of the Senior Executive Services, which was in turn a follow up to a similar survey in 2008.
The second report was created by The 3D Group as the third benchmark study specifically related to practices in 360 Degree Feedback. This year’s study differed from the past versions by being conducted online, which had the immediate benefit of expanding the sample to over 200 organizations. This change in methodology, sample and content makes interpretation of trend scores a little dicey, but the results are compelling nonetheless. Thank you to Dale Rose and his team at 3D Group for sharing the report with me once again.
These studies have many interesting results that relate to the practice of 360 Feedback, and I want to grab the low hanging fruit for the purposes of this blog entry.
As the title teases, the debate is over, with the “debate” being whether 360 Feedback can and should be used for decision making purposes. Let me once again acknowledge that 1) all 360 Feedback should be used for leadership development, 2) some 360 processes are solely for leadership development, often one leader at time, and 3) these development-only focused 360 processes should not be used for decision making.
But these studies demonstrate that 360 Feedback continues to be used for decision making, at a growing rate, and evidently successfully since their use is projected to increase (more on this later). The 3D report goes to some length to try to pin down what “decision making” really means so that we can guide respondents in answering how their 360 data are used. For example, is leadership development training a “decision?” I would say yes since some people get it and some don’t based on 360’s, and that affects both the individual’s career as well as how the organization uses its resources (e.g., people, time and dollars).
But let’s make it clearer and look at just a few of the reported uses for 360 results. In the 3D Group report, one of the most striking numbers is the 47% of organizations that indicate they use 360’s for performance management (despite on 31% saying in another question that they use it for personnel decisions). It may well be that “performance management” use means integrating 360 results into the development planning aspect of a PM process, which is a great way to create accountability without overdoing the measurement focus. This type of linkage of development to performance plans is also reinforced as a best practice in the highlights of the OPM study.
In the OPM study, we 56% of the surveyed leaders report participating in a 360 process (up from 41% in 2008), though the purpose is not specified. 360’s are positioned as one of several assessment tools available to these leaders, and an integrated assessment strategy is encouraged in the report.
Two other messages that come out of both of these studies are 1) use of coaches (and/or managers as coaches) for post assessment follow up continues to gain momentum as a key factor in success, and 2) the 360 processes must be linked to organizational objectives, strategies and values in order to have impact and sustainability.
Finally, in the 3D study, 73% of the organizations report that their use of 360’s in the next year will either continue at the same level or increase.
These studies are extremely helpful in gauging the trends within the area of leadership development and assessment, and, to this observer, it appears that some of the research that has promoted certain best practices, such as follow up and coaching, is being considered in the design and implementation of 360 feedback processes. But it is most heartening to see some indications that organizations are also realizing the value that 360 data can bring to talent management and the decisions about leaders that are inherent in managing that critical resource.
It is no longer useful (if it ever was) to debate whether 360 feedback can be used successfully to inform and improve personnel decisions. It has and it does. It’s not necessarily easy to do right, but the investment is worth the benefits.
©2013 David W. Bracken
My last blog was a brief description of the notion of the “ManagerCoach,” and that continues to be a topic of great interest for me. Evidently it is of great interest to a number of people given some recent (and not so recent) articles that have popped up.
For example, just recently Human Resource Executive had a piece called, “Employees Improving Bosses” (http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/view/story.jhtml?id=534354629) that describes a survey of 2700 workers. One of the findings was that approximately a third said their bosses needed to improve in communicating a clear vision of success, motivating employees during adversity, and being open about their own strengths and weaknesses. (That last part is more about the manager than the employee, and is an interesting twist on effective management.)
Also a recent Fortune magazine (Dec. 3, 2012) included a one pager called, “Five Ways to Keep Your Employees Excited” by Verne Harnish (whom I am not familiar with). The third “way” says, Grow Better Bosses, and includes “Do they know how to coach your employees so they can excel…”
These articles made me recall a study from Google that was described in the New York Times in 2011 regarding the critical abilities of leaders there. Eight such abilities were identified, the most important of which is coaching, defined as 1) provide specific, constructive feedback balancing the positive and negative, and 2) have regular one-on-ones, presenting solutions to problems tailored to your employees’ specific strengths.
Finally (for now), we have a client that collected over 4000 responses to leadership effectiveness behaviors with the finding that coaching behaviors are not only the lowest scoring but also the greatest drivers of engagement.
When I ask leadership development professionals in organizations whether their managers need to be better coaches, there is unanimous and vehement agreement. And many organizations have “coaching” built into their training and development curriculum to varying degrees.
But what is a “coach,” particularly in the context of also being a manager/supervisor inside an organization with (usually) multiple direct reports? There a many mental models of what a “coach” can/should be. The Google model seems to suggest that being a coach is accomplished by telling the employee the “best” way to solve a problem, with “best” defined by the manager on behalf of the organization and focusing on strengths.
To this person, that is not “coaching.” I (and others) believe that the “best” solutions are discovered by the employee (coachee) through a process of discovery facilitated by the coach. Coaching should also be built upon a foundation of a trusting relationship that is created and sustained over time. That facet is probably the biggest barrier to establishing a coaching relationship where the employee has significant input into determining the best actions to take to make him/her more effective and a better contributor.
There is an important role for the manager to “tell” (i.e., inform) their employees about organizational goals and priorities, and how their jobs contribute to the achievement of those goals. But at some point the “telling” should drop off and “listening” should replace it. If you are a manager and you are talking/telling more than 50% of the time, you are not being a coach.
©2013 David W. Bracken
A recent posting on the 360 Degree Feedback group in LinkedIn posed this question to the group:
I have been interested in more fine-grained detail about what it is that manager-coaches actually do that leads to perceptions on the part of the coachee that their managers are effective and supportive coaches. I see a lot of speculation and ‘armchair’ theorizing, but I cannot find specific, rigorous empirical research. Have I overlooked some references?
I have been similarly interested in this topic, largely due to my bias that 360 Feedback is most effective when the manager (boss) is involved in the use of the results, contrary to some practitioner who advise against it.
To that end, the work of Dr. Brodie Gregory caught my eye, particularly the instrument she developed and researched as part of her doctoral dissertation under the direction of Dr. Paul Levy at the University of Akron. Brodie has made a major contribution in identifying four constructs that she believes define the effective manager-coach:
- Genuineness of the Relationship
- Effective Communication
- Comfort with the Relationship
- Facilitating Development
Dr. Gregory’s research, though, may not fully answer the LinkedIn questioner since she doesn’t as yet have performance data on managers and the relationship to effective coaching.
I am posting two publications by Dr. Gregory in order to provide easy access to those of you who are interested in this topic:
I have also developed a workshop called The ManagerCoach©, designed to be delivered for organizations who wish to make their managers better coaches. The workshop integrates a feedback instrument that includes, with Dr. Gregory’s permission (the instrument is copyrighted), the item content she has developed along with some other constructs.
For your information, I will be giving a webinar that describes the concept of The ManagerCoach and introduces the content of the workshop. I will deliver the webinar next on September 6 at 12:30 EDT. Let me know if you would like to register (free). Or check at http://www.orgvitality.com.
I consistently see, when organizations have the nerve to ask, that the lowest scores managers receive on both surveys and 360 feedback are often related to employee development and/or, more specifically, coaching abilities. This is a fixable and measurable area of leadership development.
©2012 David W. Bracken
One question that has been at the core of best practices in 360 Feedback since its inception relates to the conditions that are most likely to create sustained behavior change (at least for those of us that believe that behavior change is the ultimate goal). Many of us believe that behavior change is not a question of ability to change but primarily one of motivation. Motivation often begins with the creation of awareness that some change is necessary, the accepting the feedback, and then moving on to implementing the change.
One of the more interesting examples of creating behavior change began when seat belts were included as standard equipment in all passenger vehicles in 1964. I am old enough to remember when that happened and started driving not long thereafter. So using a seat belt was part of the driver education routine since I began driving and has not been a big deal for me.
The reasons for noncompliance with seatbelt usage are as varied as human nature. Some people see it as a civil rights issue, as in, “No one is going to tell me what to do.” There is also the notion that it protects against a low probability event, as in “It won’t happen to me. I’m a careful driver.” Living in Nebraska for a while, I learned that people growing up on a farm don’t “have the time” to buckle and unbuckle seatbelts in their trucks when they are learning to drive, so they don’t get into that habit. (I also found, to my annoyance, that they also never learned how to use turn signals.)
I remember back in the ‘60’s reading about a woman who wrote a car manufacturer to ask that they make the seat belts thinner because they were uncomfortable to sit on. Really.
Some people have internal motivation to comply, which can also be due to multiple factors such as personality, demographics, training, norms (e.g., parental modeling), and so on. This is also true when we are trying to create behavior change in leaders, but we will see that these factors are not primary determinants of compliance..
In thinking about seatbelt usage as a challenge in creating behavior change, I found study from 2008 by the Department of Transportation. It is titled “How States Achieve High Seat Belt Use Rates” (DOT HS 810 962). (Note: This is a 170 page report with lots of tables and statistical analyses, and if any of you geeks want a copy, let me know.)
The major finding of this in-depth study states:
The statistical analyses suggest that the most important difference between the high and low seat belt use States is enforcement, not demographics or funds spent on media.
This chart Seatbelt Usage in US, amongst the many in this report, seems to capture the messages fairly well to support their assertion. This chart plots seat belt usage by state, where we see a large spread ranging from just over 60% (Mississippi) to about 95% (Hawaii). It also shows whether each state has primary seatbelt laws (where seatbelt usage is a violation by itself), or secondary laws (where seatbelt usage can only be enforced if the driver is stopped for another purpose). Based on this table alone, one might argue causality but the study systematically shows that this data, along with others relating to law enforcement practices, are the best predictors of seatbelt usage.
One way of looking at this study is to view law enforcement as a form of external accountability, i.e., having consequences for your actions (or lack thereof). The primary versus secondary law factor largely shifts the probabilities of being caught, with the apparent desired effect on seatbelt usage.
So, back to 360 Feedback. I always have been, and continue to be, mystified as to how some implementers of 360 feedback processes believe that sustainable behavior change is going to occur in the vast majority of leaders without some form of external accountability. Processes that are supposedly “development only” (i.e., have no consequences) should not be expected to create change. In those processes, participants are often not required to, or even discouraged from, sharing their results with others, especially their manager. I have called these processes “parlor games” in the past because they are kind of fun, are all about “me,” and have no consequences.
How can we create external accountability in 360 processes? I believe that the most constructive way to create both motivation and alignment (ensuring behavior change is in synch with organizational needs/values) is to integrate the 360 feedback into Human Resource processes, such as leadership development, succession planning, high potential programs, staffing decisions, and performance management. All these uses involve some form of decision making that affects the individual (and the organization), which puts pressure on the 360 data to be reliable and valid. Note also that I include leadership development in this list as a form of decision making because it does affect the employee’s career as well as the investment (or not) of organization resources.
But external accountability can be created by other, more subtle ways as well. We all know from our kept and (more typically) unkept New Year’s resolutions about the power of going public with our commitments to change. Sharing your results and actions with your manager has many benefits, but can cause real and perceived unfairness if some people are doing it and others not. Discussing your results with your raters and engaging them in your development plans has multiple benefits.
Another source of accountability can (and should) come from your coach, if you are fortunate enough to have one. I have always believed that the finding in the Smither et al (2005) meta-analysis that the presence of a coach is one determinant of whether behavior change is observed is due to the accountability that coaches create by requiring the coachee to specifically state what they are going to do and to check back that the coachee has followed through on that commitment.
Over and over, we see evidence that, when human beings are not held accountable, more often than not they will stray from what is in their best interests and/or the interests of the group (organization, country, etc.). Whether it’s irrational (ignoring facts) or overly rational (finding ways to “get around” the system), we should not expect that people will do what is needed, and we should not rely on our friends, neighbors, peers or leaders to always do what is right if there are no consequences for inaction or bad behavior.
©2012 David W. Bracken