ACCOUNTABILITY.TEAM (Q4.8)

The Q sets and maintains high Standards for his Team Members

In the Second Quadrant we described how important individual Accountability is to individual IMPACT. There, we defined Accountability as submission to Standard through Enforcement and Consequence and explained that the Q subjects himself to Accountability in order to exercise Virtuous Leadership.

Team Accountability is based upon the same principle as individual Accountability 

Here, the Q applies the Team’s objective measures of performance to the Members by setting high Standards and maintaining them through Enforcement and Consequence.

A Team without Standards rapidly becomes static, which is the opposite of Dynamic

A static Team (at best) might morph into a club, a group that accomplishes nothing but continues to exist because its Members like each other. More likely though, a static Standard-less Team will disintegrate altogether, as it is the nature of the HIM to search for a Group that is Purposeful. Clubs are for Kimonos (men for whom personal comfort is their watchword) not HIMs.

Alternatively, if the Team does have Standards, but the Q can’t or won’t maintain them, the Members lose respect for his Leadership, which erodes the Trust necessary for the Team to function. The same result occurs where the Q does not Enforce the Standards evenly between all the Members—loss of respect, leading to erosion of Trust, ending with disintegration of Team.

As with individual Accountability, there must be Consequences for failur to meet Standards within the Team

Like Teams, Organizations also require Accountability to be Effective, but (unlike Team Accountability), the array of Consequences that the Q may apply is very broad. With Team Accountability, there are only two Consequences that matter: 1) probation; and 2) termination. Failure to meet the Standard is strike one—probation. The second time is strike two—termination. There is no strike three.

For Teamwork to thrive, it must be this way. Combined action that is efficient and potent requires each man to row the boat as hard as he can in the same direction. Any man who cannot or will not meet the Team’s Standards is a threat to its Dynamism. If probation doesn’t work, then termination is necessary.

The challenge of Kimonos and Toxics to the Team 

There are two broad types of Members who will test a Q’s willingness to execute a Black Tahoe. First there is the Kimono, the Member who places his personal comfort over the Mission. He is like a man with an oar in his hand who won’t row because it gives him blisters.

While the Kimono may not affect the health of a Community because that is a Group that is not going anywhere, he is an intolerable Flesh Anchor on a Dynamic Team. Because he won’t row, the other Members must row harder to carry him. Equally as bad, his presence in the boat keeps his seat from being filled by a man who will row. If a man can’t or won’t meet the Standard because he is focused primarily on his own comfort, he is a Kimono who the Q must Black Tahoe.

The second type of person who threatens a Team’s Dynamism is the Toxic, who is a Member whose Mission is misaligned with the Group. Unlike the Kimono, he is a man who will do something, just not the right something. He is like a man pulling powerfully on his oar in the wrong direction. In this sense, the Toxic is worse than a Flesh Anchor because he forces his Teammates to row against him rather just pull his dead weight along. As with the Kimono, the Q must subject the Toxic to the Consequence of the Black Tahoe.

If the Q doesn’t prune Kimonos and Toxics from the branches of his Team, they will ultimately cause the tree to wither. Which is not to say that either is a “bad” guy. A Kimono might be a lovely person who remembers everybody else’s birthday. But he’s slowing the Team down and will eventually cause it to stop. The Toxic might be a highly skilled man with a Missional heart, but his lack of alignment makes him a football helmet on a baseball player. On the right Team he might be a HIM, but the Q must recognize him for the menace he is to his Team’s Dynamism.

To maintain high Standards within the Team, the Q must be willing to hold the Members Accountable.

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