Taking accountability for culture transformation
Openness and Trust,
By Larry Lewellen
As leaders, it’s important that we serve as role models for this change and are accountable for shifting our actions to those that align with Ohio State’s values. We want to be transparent, and offer insight into how we are personally practicing the behaviors that align with our values. In the coming months, look for culture transformation columns from other University leaders.
As I was thinking about the start of this column, the importance of accountability kept resurfacing. Accountability is one of the most powerful, results-producing values that will move Ohio State to become an even higher performing organization. Accountability teaches a quality of thinking that results in personal power and possibility. Nothing is more invigorating and more exciting than deciding to take control of your contributions, your actions, your personal power.
My two most-referenced steps on the eight-step accountability ladder are "wait and hope" and "find solutions." To find oneself "waiting and hoping" is such a strange feeling! Zero power, zero control, zero possibility for contribution to a solution. To “find solutions” is a completely different orientation. For me, it is a feeling of exploration, discovery, forward motion, and the ability to help shape the direction of events.
Other senior leaders and I recently completed our annual performance reports for President Gee, which included a self assessment of how we are living the University’s values, and questions related to more fully embracing culture principles into our everyday work.
On my self-assessment, I defined integrity and personal accountability as “never wanting to push responsibility for my actions onto others, regardless of consequence.” Assuming personal accountability for not only my work, but also for the direction of the Office of Human Resources, will be even more important in the days ahead with the state budget challenges and the increased focus on creating a University System of Ohio.
Taking accountability will help me ensure that the University makes the right decisions even in tough times; decisions framed by our future eminence and not by short-term views and external criticisms.
To ensure I remain in an accountable mindset, I constantly ask myself “What more can I/we do?” to get the results that we want, and think about how we can encourage each other to live high on the Accountability Ladder. Also, I ask others to let me know when they notice any gaps in my Shadow as a leader. Seeking out ongoing coaching and feedback is one of the best ways to improve performance. These few steps help me increase my personal effectiveness, and the effectiveness of those around me.
Remember, you have ideas, information, influence, and actions that are your personal power....keep them alive, never "wait and hope!"
Posted on Decmber 16, 2010