I saw a man walking down the street with a bulb of garlic hanging around his neck. He smelled terrible, and looked worried. “Dude. Why are you doing this to us – and yourself?”

“There’s no way I’m going to fall victim to the flu pandemic,” he replied. “This garlic will save me.”

As crazy as that seems, do you know people who still lead the way they did prior to the economy becoming afflicted with its version of the flu? As outdated as wearing garlic to save yourself from the pandemic, some leaders are still “thinking” and “leading” like they did before – even though we all know much more effective ways to drive change within organizations.

As an example, consider accountability.


“You have to hold people accountable,” is uttered in leadership meetings around the globe. Yet, how do you and your peers respond when you know you’re being forced, told or demanded to do things? It smells as much as garlic – and is as ineffective at driving change, too.

It’s time to end the misconception, the illusion, that you can force others to be accountable. Lack of accountability in an organization is a consequence, a failure of leadership; blaming others for not being accountable is often a confession that a person isn’t able to foster and create the natural accountability that resides in most employees.

Accountability is a mindset – not a task.

What strategy is your organization about to launch? Before pressing the “go” button, ask:

  • To what extent are WE driving this change – rather than the people who will be doing most of the work?
  • What questions can we ask to co-create ownership of this idea?
  • How can we better incorporate participants’ ideas and tap into their motivations?

Are you changing with the times? Of course, you don’t have to take steps to develop accountability. You can always demand it – and wear garlic around your neck.

Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?



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