Accountability: A CEO's Perspective

David Baker

Accountability is difficult.

It's one of the largest challenges that all CEOs and leaders face, but they all have different grievances with it.

In this video, our CEO David Baker talks about his personal issues with accountability that he overcame and the impact that accountability can have on organizations who don't address it.

To learn more about the top five accountability fails that CEOs and organizations face, read David's blog article. After all, the first step to addressing accountability is discovering what's stopping us from holding others accountable.

Read the Article



What were some of your challenges as a CEO?

One of my biggest personal challenges was around the idea that being liked and holding people accountable are separate. That if I hold someone accountable, I will fall out of connection with them. And I think that is one of the largest challenges that CEOs have, any leader really has.

What were the challenges in making accountability a cultural value at Think Shift?

At one point in time I viewed the idea of accountability as something that is hard and distasteful for the people that I work with. But the reality is the people that I work with by and large, most people want to be held accountable.

What symptoms do you see in organizations with accountability problems?

Organizations where people don’t hold each other accountable tend to have repetitive challenges. Some of them are smaller, some of them are larger. But they look like meetings not starting on time, it looks like meetings without agendas, it looks like deadlines not being met for client requirements.

Why is accountability so important as a cultural value?

Well I think all cultures are made of patterns. Patterns of behavior and belief. Spoken or unspoken, but there are things that we believe. So within any culture, if we believe that it is okay to not be accountable, what happens is a pattern grows where it’s okay for us to not rise to the standard. And over time any organization with a lowering standard is going to find itself less and less relevant.

What challenges do you see with other CEOs when it comes to accountability?

The challenges I see with other CEOs and all leaders really, is that accountability is difficult. We all have different challenges, I’ve gone through my own past challenges and that I’ve found working with other leaders and written a blog around what I think are the five main accountability fails.

For me, it was around this idea of being popular, valuing being popular over holding other people accountable. But it’s different for everybody, so I encourage you – read the blog, and find out where it is you’re not holding people accountable. Because there is tremendous opportunity and leverage when we can figure out what it is that’s stopping us from holding each other accountable.


Sign up to receive content from our “Think” leaders: