Culture & Competency

When Collaborative Effort Is An Attempt to Avoid Individual Accountability

In 10 Leadership Lessons from the IBM Executive School, August Turak writes about collaboration done wrong. Lesson six from the school is:

6. Great Leaders Stick Their Necks Out. It is a natural human trait to fear being evaluated. We crave wiggle room so we can deflect blame and get off the hook when things go wrong. In business what is often passed off as a collaborative effort is actually just an attempt to avoid individual accountability. Great leaders want to be measured and evaluated. They continually look for ways to measure things that may seem immeasurable, and they cheerfully accept the blame when they are wrong or fail to deliver.

There is no doubt this happens. But just because it does happen – and I know August is not saying this – does not mean that all “collaborative efforts” are attempts to avoid individual accountability. When it works it’s a transformative experience.

Yours in pursuit of more of the latter …

Categories: Culture & Competency