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Gut Check: How Is The Year Of Leadership Accountability Going For You?

14-06-27 Mid Year Check - Leadership AccountabilityIn January, I proclaimed 2014 as the Year of Leadership Accountability.

The reason was simple – the senior leaders I advise tell me that leadership matters today more than ever before. That the very success of their companies hinges on the ability of all their leaders to step up and truly lead.

As I look around, it’s clear that many leaders still are not stepping up. In fact, this has been a year with many leadership letdowns.

Consider the racist rants from former LA Clipper owner Donald Sterling, or Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, or the recent sexual antics from American Apparel CEO Dov Charney.

These leaders leave us frustrated and embarrassed. Others faced challenging circumstances. Gregg Steinhafel, former CEO of Target, was ousted after the company’s lagging performance and an online security breach. In his absence, we also learned about a leadership culture that was mediocre at best.

GM’s Mary Barra faced a challenging six months due to the safety issues brought on by faulty ignition switches. Her story demonstrated the intense scrutiny that leaders face today. So far, she’s weathered the storm but with recent news of more recalls, we’ll see how she fares moving forward.

The good news is there were some leaders who managed to step up and provide us with strong examples of leadership accountability. Adam Silver the Commissioner of the NBA was swift and decisive in banning and fining Donald Sterling and calling out his bad behavior after his racist remarks.

Pope Francis continues to lead in a way that is inspiring his followers.

How have you fared as a leader? Given that we are mid-way through 2014, it’s a great time of the year to reflect on your own leadership accountability.

Here are some questions to guide your thinking:

  1. What challenges and opportunities have you had to contend with in the first six months? Have have you stepped up? If you haven’t, why not?
  2. Are you leaving your organization better than you found it?
  3. Do you have tangible examples of how you’ve demonstrated real leadership accountability?

In the year of Leadership Accountability, it’s important for each of us as leaders to pause and reflect on how we’re doing.

This week’s gut check question asks: how have you stepped up to your leadership accountability?

Follow me @VinceMolinaro

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About the Author

Vince Molinaro is a speaker, consultant, executive at Lee Hecht Harrison, and author of the New York Times bestseller The Leadership Contract now in its third edition.

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