5-Steps to Inclusive and Accountable Leadership

Let me begin by saying that Leadership is often misunderstood to be about power and control when it is truly about Serving and Accountability. A leader needs to earn the respect and trust before being given the responsibility of making decision for a team they lead.

Your team will stand with your decisions and actions if you can lead by example with integrity, transparency and accepting accountability with an aim to serve a mission with a clear set of goals. You are as much the learner as you are the mentor in the entire scheme of things and involving the team in the process gives them the confidence to follow your lead.

To be an inclusive and accountable leader you need to begin with these 5 Steps

1.  BE A ROLE MODEL: Hold yourself accountable for your actions, acknowledge your shortcomings and show the courage to accept responsibility for your actions. Show the team that you have the power to evolve, change and mend what’s broken starting with yourself. Invite feedback and be open to the consideration of change. Teams will feel confident in your character and empowered to act responsibly with pride.

2. SHARE YOUR FAILURES: Everyone faces challenge and a leader is not an exception. What really helps the team understand your journey is when you share the journey of your failures, challenges and how you overcame them. Sharing your fears will help them understand your courage better with reasons and process that made you strong and helped you win. When you take accountability for your failures and learn from them, it shows your team that it is okay to make mistakes if we are learning and improving. It makes you more transparent, more human, and worthy of their trust. In return they are likely to be more honest, transparent and genuine in coming forward and taking accountability for their errors.

3. BE INCLUSIVE AND RESPECTFUL: When you open the doors for feedback without setting any ‘hierarchy-based’ rules, you allow people to feel included, involved and valued. You break the barriers of red-tape, formality and fear of ‘the boss’ and empower them to be honest with your leadership and brand. Similarly, be respectful to their feedback, positive or negative. You may not like the feedback but if you are willing to listen and understand their point of view, you make them feel respected. A team that feels respected and included is always going to be more confident, honest and productive on any given day.

4. BE SUPPORTIVE: Let them know you are there for them. Be it a challenge, or curiosity, you are willing to stand with them to find a solution. If the team knows you stand with them, they are going to stand with you with their loyalty and honesty. A supportive leader instills confidence in the team that they will be heard, protected and defended, in the hour of need. They will stick with you because they know you stick by them.

5. BE READY TO TRAIN AND LEARN: Your team may not always have all the skills, aptitude or intellect that is needed to achieve a goal. At times, you may not always have the right answer, or at times, no answer at all – be honest about it. If they don’t know something, be ready to educate them, train them and empower them with knowledge. If they show you something you did not know or ask you a question you don’t have the answer to – be ready to learn, together. When they see you are not ashamed of not knowing it all, and are ready to learn, they will also feel motivated to stay honest about their knowledge and willing to learn more.

Showing 20 comments
  • Shime
    Reply

    The message is loud and clear – accountability and inclusive approach can guide others to be more authentic, fair and transparent leaders.

    • The 'almost Naked CEO'
      Reply

      Thank you for your participation Shime, and yes, authentic leadership is all about fairness and transparency!

  • Maribel Lafuente
    Reply

    “Leadership is about serving and accountability”. Yes, that is what true leadership is about, whether we are talking about leadership in business or any other field. Pity so many so-called “leaders” think only about power and control and forget what true and honest leadership really means (I am now particularly thinking about a few so-called “world leaders” – they should read this article and learn some humility!)

    • The 'almost Naked CEO'
      Reply

      Thank you for your participation Maribel, and yes, while the situation currently is glum we must stay hopeful and keep working towards nurturing more inspiring leaders. Time has shown, during oppression great leaders rise and shine and take the world towards a better journey.

  • Kate
    Reply

    Agree with #5! Many many “leaders” forget that they should be lifelong learners and learn WITH their team.

    • The 'almost Naked CEO'
      Reply

      Thank you for your participation Kate, and yes, the moment we forget to Learn or think we are too intellectual to need more knowledge we stop being leaders and become a liability on the community, teams and peers. A leader never stops learning.

  • Christine
    Reply

    Yes…this is all so true. I’ve worked with many admins who really struggle with leadership, lacking soft skills and not building relationships with their staff. Sad! Some of them need a lot more training.

    • The 'almost Naked CEO'
      Reply

      Thank you for your participation Christine, and I could not agree more. It is the mutual effort, respect and courtesy (the soft skills) that make a leader who they are. Without these, they are usually what can be seen as narcissist, dictators or psychopaths. I am afraid we are seeing such examples globally these days!

  • MsChurchDress
    Reply

    Sharing your failures may make you feel vulnerable as a leader. Instead it strengthens the team because everyone else can support you during the next attempt. Teamwork makes the dreamwork.

  • Erica
    Reply

    I like the one about sharing failures. Leaders who show their failures are more human and more motivating in my opinion. Failure is part of success. So you have to be willing to take chances and not always be perfect.

  • Terri
    Reply

    I like the tip about sharing our failures. Nor only does it make a leader more relatable, but sometimes learning about a leaders failures can be inspirational as well

  • Jojo Hua
    Reply

    This is so true. I think people misinterpret the meaning of leadership. Personally, I think leadership is about being the best version of yourself so you can serve other people.

  • Kristi McAllister
    Reply

    You make some really good points here when it comes to leadership and everything it entails. The one that struck me the most though is the one about sharing failure. In my first management position, I had an incredible boss who mentored me through everything and the one thing I can say that I loved the most about working for him is that if I screwed up, he always had a related backstory to share as to how he screwed up. I found that to be my best learning tool and I respected him even more for being able to say “Everyone makes mistakes. I made that mistake too. And this is how I handled it and learned from it.”

    Great post!

  • CARMEN
    Reply

    This is something some leaders forget: serving and accountability. Leaders think leadership is all about power and ordering people around. I hope this post reached a lot of people to educate them on true leadership. You have highlighted several good points esp the last ones. leaders don’t mean you’re perfect. There’s always room for improvement. I always tell people never stop learning.

  • Jewish Chick
    Reply

    I can’t agree more with sharing your failures! As a leader, your audience must see that you are also human and despite not succeeding at something, you don’t stop, but rather, try and try again!

  • Moipone
    Reply

    Absolutely true , so leader’s learn soft and people skills because they lack them. Awesome article.

  • Renata Feyen
    Reply

    Those are real hard things to do sometimes – but it’s the only way to learn and move forward 🙂

  • Nadalie Bardo
    Reply

    I love that you mention sharing your failures! Too many of us are too afraid to open up about what went wrong. We’ve all messed up, show it more.

  • Fashion and Style Police
    Reply

    I agree with all you have said here about leadership. Being a leader is no joke. You have to be a role model to others.

  • Reply

    This is a fantastic post that I hope many people who consider themselves to be leaders will take seriously. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes as a leader – we’re all human, after all – but openly acknowledging those mistakes and keeping yourself accountable is what will make others respect you so much more.

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