Creating Accountability

Creating Accountability

In a Positive Discipline seminar, one participant asked me; "How do I create accountability? You see, I've hired somebody whom I thought has good potential. That was 6 months ago and until now I can sense he's not giving his best. While he does his job as expected, the quality is awful and it's causing a lot of delays in his department."

I've been asked this type of concern a lot of times, only in different settings and varying degrees. In all those questions, I gave 3 options for the concerned leaders to ponder and perhaps come up with their own answers:

  • Threaten the employee that it's either "shape up, or ship out."
  • Hold a meeting with the whole department and brainstorm for a solution to improve quality.
  • Call the concerned employee for a one-on-one counseling and discuss the matter privately.

At all times, different answers were given with accompanying justifications (of course, it's necessary to support your theory). From these answers emerge the "favorite" leadership style of the proponent, which makes it easy on my part to do specific interventions with different individuals.

For me to appear wise, I always employ the "there's no right or wrong answer here" tactic (oops, I shouldn't have told you this). But the truth of the matter is, while all answers may deliver positive outcome, there's a better answer than the others.
However, it is not as simple as it seems. Involving a lot of variables as you can expect in the dynamics of human interaction, it also depends on the delivery of the leaders themselves.

Let's make this an interesting, learning experience for all whose quest for learning is still alive . . .

Give me your best shot and we will discuss your answers in the COMMENT section below. Our discusions will be seen by others (for the sake of learning). You need not worry, there's no right or wrong answer here (have I said it before?) . . .

Now the challenge is on and open to all who wish to join.

Hope to hear from you,

The Leaders' Ladder

"Your learning is GUARANTEED!
I bring experience, my best teacher, to our meeting."
— Rey Misoles, CPC – From the Ranks to CEO –

"The most unequal thing a leader can do is to treat unequals equally . . ."

Your Best Investment

Leadership Development

Leadership Development

"A lot of people want too fast and too high of returns on their investment, instead of just letting the investment work itself." - John Maxwell

How do you compare leadership development to planting a seed?

In my elementary years, I almost failed in one subject – agriculture. You see, when I plant something I want the seed to grow ASAP. To make it happen, I dig it up every day and see if it has grown. I also make sure the surrounding is spotless clean. To ensure no grass grows, I take out the seed and till the soil again, removing all types of grass in the process, and return the seed to its position. This happens every day.

Leadership development is very much akin to planting a seed . . . you must pick the best potential, prepare the environment for learning, and provide proper training.

Few weeks passed, my plant grew very little and remained a seedling while the others were ready for harvest. I wondered why . . . just couldn't understand why a plant so well-taken refused to grow.

Isn't it funny that we experience the same when we do leadership development? We know we've done our best, and yet people just don't seem to grow . . . and we wonder why!

Leadership Development . . .

The Art of Leadership Development is an Art of Sowing (and Reaping)

Later in life I learned that when you sow, you don't reap immediately. You have to be patient, invest a lot of time and let it work. This same principle applies when you invest in PEOPLE.

If you look more closely, leadership development is investing in people. And just like planting a seed, leadership development takes time and effort. You have to teach them the right things to do, and walk with them through the journey of leadership development. You must have that nurturing spirit, because the journey is long . . .

People are your best investment, no matter what business you're in. Just like a seed, however, you don't "sow today and expect to reap tomorrow." Some say it's difficult to find good people nowadays, and I would say there are still many of them out there – the "diamond in the rough," which you shall find if you seek hard enough. Just like a seed . . . you cannot see the tree when you look at it, yet you know that there is "treeness" inside.

You need to invest in people – set well-defined expectations, equip them with the tools needed for their functions, and help them develop the necessary skills to perform well. Then, sit back and watch them grow. In due time, you will reap what you have sown. When this happens, you will know the true meaning of leadership development.

And this is what John Maxwell said; "Sow the seed, be patient, and let it work." What you sow, you shall reap.

  This holds true in leadership development as well.

  Be well, and lead well.

The Leaders' Ladder

MaP Consulting offers HR and management consulting and mentoring.
Email for detailed info.

Lead by (Right) Example

Leaders Must Lead . . . by (Right) Example!Leaders Lead by (Right) Example

What you are doing speaks so loud I can’t hear what you say. – Emerson

One of the most remarkable statements said by Ford to his leaders is this; “I don’t care what time you come in as long as it’s before 8 AM, and I don’t care what time you go home as long as it’s after 6 PM.” It’s his way of saying “lead by right example.”

Tardiness is one of the most common violations committed by ordinary leaders. For them, not coming on time is a “perk” that comes with the position and ought to be enjoyed.  Conversely, they require their people to come on time and discipline those who don’t. It’s one way of saying’ “Do what I say, not what I do.” This sends a wrong signal and erodes the leaders' credibility.

Of course, leaders should lead by example. However, action speaks louder and people pay more attention to our deeds than our words. What is implied by this truth, but not always articulated, is that people will follow whatever example we set.

To be a remarkable leaders then, we must make conscious choices to set the right examples – to lead in directions we want people to follow. The “teacup” story below tells it all . . .

“Teacup” Leaders

Processionary caterpillars are an unusual species. They travel one after the other, head to tail in their search for food. It is because of this behavior that Jean Henri Fabre, the French entomologist, conducted an experiment.

He placed processionary caterpillars around the rim of a teacup one after the other in a circle. In the tea cup he placed their favorite foods, inches from their current location.

Through instinct and the strength of habit, the ring of caterpillars circled the teacup for seven days, until they died from exhaustion and starvation. They died with the food they were searching for just inches away.  Because of their nature and in this arrangement, they all assumed someone else was leading. (End of story.)

While we as humans (and as leaders at that) are more insightful, complex and intelligent, our behavior, (sadly) often mimics that of the processionary caterpillar.

Some leaders rely too much on instinct and habit . . .

Many times we follow our leaders – habits and all, blindly, without questioning if our direction will get us where we want to go. Perhaps worse if we aren’t the assigned leader, we don’t think at all, assuming those who are leading are doing it well.  Perhaps they are. Or perhaps, you are collectively lining your own teacup . . .

Following blindly is dangerous enough for us as individuals, but can be even more devastating for us as leaders.  As leaders we are asked to lead people to a desired future.  It is rightly expected of us to do that with good information and a reasoned approach.


Stop today to review the direction you are heading as a leader.  Review the choices before you and make the best one, based not on comfort or habit like the caterpillars, but based on the future result you desire. Doing this will allow you to move people, and therefore your organization, in the right direction.

Be well, and lead well.


The Leaders’ Ladder 

MaP Consulting offers HR and management consulting and mentoring. Email for detailed info.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Leaders . . . Learn!

Leaders' Lesson

Change is the only permanent thing in life . . .

While attending seminar for COOP leaders, I learned an important lesson which moved me forward to do something very important. During that training, the speaker was kind enough to share a slideshow of the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” If you haven’t read it, I strongly suggest that you do. I’m certain it would make a difference in your life as it did mine and many leaders just like you (I’m not an endorser, just a happy “user”).

Leaders . . . Prepare to Learn!

The story tells about 2 characters, men (miniature people to fit the plot) and mice (interestingly, they act like real leaders). They enjoyed life so much because of abundant supply of resource (cheese), until one day . . . the cheese suddenly disappeared.

The mice, being depicted as wiser than the men, (well, leaders are supposed to be) immediately planned for options to fill the loss, while the men complained and kept asking, “Who moved my cheese?” Shortly thereafter, the mice found another supply of cheese, more abundant and more than enough for all. So, they invited the men to take a look for themselves so they can devise plans to benefit from it. However, the men refused and continued asking, “Who moved my cheese?”

How did it change my way of thinking (consultants also need to think sometimes . . . and leaders as well)?

You see, for several months, I was stuck and refused to move forward. I kept on complaining and griping why my webhost just took down my site . . . Don’t they know it took me more than 10 years to build and care for? How could they? That was the work of my whole life . . . Why?

In that seminar, I saw myself in the “men” . . . felt the anger and frustrations they felt . . . heard myself complaining, “Who moved my cheese?”  Then I saw the mice, borrowed their wisdom, and decided to move forward.

That was barely 2 months ago, and now our new website – The Leaders' Ladder is back and live (otherwise, you wouldn't be reading this).

Things change, and sometimes not to our liking. Instead of staying stuck and ask “Who moved my cheese?” let’s rather say “Now, let’s go find another cheese!”

Question for Leaders: What lessons did you learn?

(I would be happy to hear from you, and would be happier still to see your comments to the posts here. Let’s make good use of it to learn together, and remember the wisdom of the mice.)

Be well, and lead well.


The Leaders’ Ladder

MaP Consulting offers HR and management consulting and mentoring. Email for detailed info.

The cheese is always there; Leaders – let's go find it.