Rayna had just received an interesting request. J.B., a recent addition to the front-line management team, had come to her following the division wide quarterly town hall update. The division president, Anne, had given a talk on accountability. She’d been firm in her resolve to increase division wide understanding of what it meant to be accountable at work. J.B. wasn’t questioning the directive. He was struggling with the meaning. What did accountability mean for him as a manager?
“Rayna,” he said. “In my last job we talked a lot about a culture of responsiveness. We gave a lot of lip service to building good teams, but in the end, it was really all about getting things done – fast. There was a lot of blaming; nobody wanted to be the one to holding the bag. It was about covering your backside – always.”
“Ugh,” said Rayna. “That must have been tough. We are trying hard to be different here. Anne is all about building a healthy workplace. She wants people to feel good about coming to work.”
J.B. replied, “I hear what she’s saying. It just doesn’t mean anything to me. I’m not sure I’ve ever thought about accountability at work. I know, it sounds crazy.”
“Anne’s talk got me thinking,” said Rayna. “I’ve been doing some reading and listening to podcasts on what accountability means. How about we set up some lunch dates to talk about what I’m finding?”
“Perfect!” said J.B. “Thanks, Rayna, I really appreciate you taking this on with me.”