The Price of Not Holding Others Accountable

PriceAfter a leadership development seminar I presented in Wisconsin last week, I read an article in a local newspaper that we can all learn from.

Apparently, two Milwaukee police officers decided to sue the city after their complaints to their supervisor(s) of harassment and threats from a fellow officer were ignored.

Unfortunately, the complaints led to retaliation and continued bullying from the fellow officer in question.

Now, I’m not here to lay blame, pick sides or judge anybody involved – the courts can do that.

However, there is a lesson to be reinforced … and that is, leaders must act on behavior inconsistent with company values and policies.

My leadership tip for you this week is to remind you that as a leader you must hold others accountable for their actions, behaviors and performance.

Weak leaders look the other way when they should be holding others accountable.

Exceptional leaders embrace accountability and are effective at holding themselves and others accountable.

Here are 5 – challenges you could be faced with when you’re a leader who struggles with holding people accountable:

Diminishing credibility
Loss of trust and respect
Chaotic work environment
Disengaged employees
Law suits

“Sir Josiah Stamp once said “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.”

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Passionate Leaders Get Results

untitledWith the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, I wanted to find one worthy leadership tip to share.

As you know, there are plenty of story lines in the game and leading up to the game.

I found one … and it’s a good one.

In case you didn’t see the story about the importance of leaders setting the stage, you can read about it here.

Here’s the short version … apparently the Denver Bronco’s off the field leader, John Elway, wasn’t happy with the team’s performance in a pre-season game.

” an agitated executive vice president of football operations gave a rare, honest, critical and emotional speech that day to make it clear a performance like that was well below the standards of an organization with its sights on playing into February.”

“Elway’s message, according to the players, was that kind of play won’t allow a team that last season dropped a playoff game to the Baltimore Ravens to advance further this year. The players said he challenged a “soft” defense to play better and let everyone in the room know they had the potential to do so much more.”

My leadership tip for you this week is to identify opportunities to display your passion by delivering a stump speech about the importance of high-level consistent performance and your expectations.

Nothing will get an organization more charged up and committed, as when the leader makes a passionate statement about ‘what’s important’.

“The players have pointed back to that fiery preseason talk from Elway as a turning point for this team’s work ethic. Before that meeting, they agree many in the room probably thought subconsciously this team would waltz back into the playoffs. After the speech, they knew they had to work hard every day to get there.”

The real message here is don’t tolerate mediocrity. If you see it, hear it or feel it … address it … and with passion, so everyone knows you’re serious.

Exceptional leaders lead with passion … and this is a great example from the business of professional sports.

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Make It A Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

The Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching and my Leadership Tip this week is to urge you to accomplish the following 3 – things during this time:

  1. Make a special effort to remember those lost while serving this country. It is because of their sacrifice that we have the freedom that we do.
  2. You’ve been running hard since the beginning of the year, so spend some good quality time with your family … what can you do that will be special and unique?
  3. Spend a little time alone to reflect on your business thus far this year … make a list of  the 3 – things that you are most pleased with … and make a list of the 3 – things that you are least pleased with.When you get back to work next week acknowledge and appreciate the contributors to the first list and get to work on fixing the second list … this is what exceptional leaders do.

Sounds like a great weekend doesn’t it ?

Enjoy your leadership journey !

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Think Things Through In Advance

In my opinion, one of the most neglected attributes of a leader is ‘preparedness’.  

I see too many leaders’ ‘busy doing’ with plenty of reacting and fire-fighting happening, but little thought given to effective implementation or preparation for the future. 

Think about this … as a leader of your business or your family, there will come a time when you will be looked upon to solve an unexpected and likely unwanted problem. 

It could be an accident on the way to the office or a flat tire-yours or someone else’s. The problem could be a short-term financial challenge you or someone else incurs. It could be a key employee who quits unexpectedly or a serious illness. 

Regardless of what the world delivers, an exceptional leader must be prepared to demonstrate leadership by taking action and creating a solution quickly for any and every situation. 

The leadership tip that can help you prepare for the unexpected is to allow yourself a minimum of 20-minutes a day to be alone to slow down and think … think without distractions.  

Think about the scenarios that you could be faced with and mentally prepare what you would do if they were to materialize. Or if your plans don’t turn out the way they were supposed to. 

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”  

Never put yourself in a position where you say, “I never saw that coming.” 

Enjoy your leadership journey!

Randy Goruk develops business leaders through his coaching, training and professional speaking services. His book ‘Sparks – A Business Fable; Leadership Actions That Will Ignite Your Organization’ is available at

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Are You Managing or Leading ?

 My guess is that you’re real busy right now. But are you busy working on the correct things ?

Are you wrapped up working on the challenges of the day, when as the leader you should be working on what’s important to your business six to twelve months from now ?

My tip for you this week is to get out from under today’s challenges and begin to spend your time on your business; 3-months, 6-months and 12 months out.  

 Look at the pile of things you’re working on today and ask yourself; “Who else could be working on this instead of me?”

Delegate and make the necessary calendar adjustments to put yourself in a position to spend most of your time ‘in front’ of your business, instead of spending your time ‘in’ your business.

Don’t get me wrong, spending time ‘in’ your business is important … but it should be a smaller percentage of your time than the time spent ‘on’ your business. 

Another way to look at it is … are you managing or leading ? 

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The Boss, George Steinbrenner Cared !

George Steinbrenner, often referred to as the boss, was a leader who cared. He cared about his people and they cared about him.

To many of us we saw him as a rough and tough character who treated his people like crap. Think back to the Billy Martin days – “you’re hired – you’re fired – you’re hired.”

But what I’m reading and hearing from those who really knew him – I hear that he genuinely cared about those on his team. It’s actually quite heart warming to learn what a great man he was.

My perception is he was tough alright. He held people accountable for results – and he expected results. If you didn’t deliver what you said you would, or deliver the result he expected from you, he would not be happy and you would hear about it.

Too many leaders today do not hold their people accountable for their results. They tolerate mediocrity and shy away from addressing the tough issues with their people.  Tolerating mediocrity is a leadership weakness and George Steinbrenner was not weak.

Caring about your people is different from tolerating mediocrity – Caring is all about ensuring you look out for those on your team. Tolerating mediocrity is letting them and the rest of your team down.

As a leader, I highly recommend you do what you can to demonstrate you genuinely care about those on your team. Additionally, be respectful of  their families because that’s why they work – to provide for their families.  

Great leaders do what they can to help their people be successful at work and in life. 

George Steinbrenner seemed to me to be a great businessman … but more importantly to me, he seemed to be a generous and thoughtful leader who wanted to see those on his team be successful – because he cared.

Thank you Mr. Steinbrenner for creating what you have in this world – it is a part of our life.

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How to Sell More in a Down Market – Leadership Secrets to Dynamite Sales Results – by Randy Goruk

How to Sell More - eBook

Part 2 of 6

After launching my eBook – How to Sell More in a Down Market – The Leadership Secrets to Dynamite Sales Results, and doing a number of related workshops, I’ve realized how difficult it is for many sales professionals to change to the changing environment.

Hopefully these brief excerpts will help inspire and motivate you to want to change because to maximize what opportunity  exists for your products, services and systems … you must embrace change.

Additionally, accepting the basic premise of How to Sell More in a Down Market is vital for success in selling more in a down market. The premise is for you to “take a leadership approach to your sales responsibilities”.

This leadership approach is straightforward and practical. It has six elements.

1. Accept full accountability for your results
2. Adopt leadership attributes for success
3. Become inspired and motivated
4. Become a personal productivity champion
5. Learn to plan like a leader
6. Take responsibility in further developing your leadership and sales professional skills

Although a number of leadership elements comprise an exceptional leader, How to Sell More in a Down Market focuses on each of the elements of leadership mentioned above to help you improve your sales results.

From the Becoming a Personal Productivity Champion Chapter

As a sales professional, how is your time management, or as I like to refer to time management, how is your personal productivity?

It is essential for leaders of organizations to master the art of personal productivity. Yes, just like selling, personal productivity is an art form. A CEO who leads a worldwide organization cannot afford to waste a single minute when trying to profitably grow their business.

There are as many different ways to be personally productive as there are CEO’s. However, I think few leaders will argue with these five “big picture” items as the solution to being productive in their responsibilities.

1. Plan – you have to plan your business and your time. Without planning factors such as where you are going, how you’re getting there, when you’re getting there, who is helping you get there, what you need to get there and why you want to get there, you will likely fall short of your goals in both good and bad markets.

2. Evaluate your progress – you have to take the time to evaluate how you are doing and make adjustments to your plan if necessary. This prevents you from wasting time on tasks that aren’t working in both good and bad markets.

3. Organize – leaders need to be personally organized, so they can organize their team to execute the plan. You know without organization you will be less effective in getting results in both good and bad markets.

4. Prioritize – leaders have a great number of things to do and decisions to make. Without properly prioritizing, they can waste their resources focusing on the wrong areas in both good and bad markets.

5. Schedule – leaders schedule their day, week, month and year. Their daily schedule is set like television programming; you know what’s on at what time and the only way that will change is if there is an earth-shattering development that needs to be communicated.

To learn more about How to Sell more in a Down Market, or to read a section – Click Here

To learn more about our Sell More in a Down Market Workshop – contact me directly –

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