Creating a Culture of Accountability

Airports are great places to get surprised and meet some wonderful people. During few occasions, I happen to meet few celebrities, politicians, my former colleagues and bosses and sometimes I chanced upon few people who are connected with me on Social Media, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. That day while I was traveling from Pune to Delhi through Spicejet (SG 184), I happened to meet Mihir Jaitley – the CEO of a leading multi-billion USD Automobile Conglomerate. Earlier I had met Mihir during few NHRDN and other leadership seminars and conclaves. However, getting a chance to talk to someone, who is as influential and successful businessman, as Mihir in a one-on-one conversation at an airport is a very different experience than asking them a question during leadership conclaves. I was not very sure if I should go and say, “Hello” to him or just let this opportunity go. Missing such an opportunity would have been very idiotic on my part. So, I gathered all my courage and walked towards him.

“Hello Sir, I am Sanjeev. I have heard you and met you during few leadership conclaves. Last, I heard you were in NHRDN conclave in Mumbai during 2014”, I said.

We raised our arms for a warm handshake.

“Hey, Sanjeev, it is nice meeting you. How are you”, he asked.

“I am good, Sir. Thank you. It is really nice to see you here”, I responded.

“Sir, you have unique ideas about how HR can contribute to the growth of an organization. Very unique from other business leaders”, I continued.

“Thank you, Sanjeev. What do you do?” he enquired.

“Sir, I work as Independent Management Consultant for last 1.5 years. I help start-up ventures; small and mid-size organizations in setting up HR Processes & Procedures, as well as helping them improve the performance of their employees. I also help organizations in preparing and grooming their new managers and coaching leaders for bigger roles. Before this, I have worked for 15 years with few organizations across India and outside of India”, I gave thorough reply while extending my business card to him.

“That’s very impressive. I like the phrase that you used in your description, “help”. Consultants don’t give free help. They charge a lot of money”, he replied with a sarcastic smile on his face, while extending his business card.

“Do you think anything can be done to improve the accountability of managers and leaders in an organizational set-up? Have you done anything in those lines”, he asked curiously.

As we were discussing, Spicejet staff made an announcement for boarding the plan.

“Sir, poor accountability is not a concern of one organization or an industry. It is there in all industries. I think the primary problem is not with managers or leaders but the way adhas been defined. By definition, it appears like an attempt to fix the blame for a failure or crisis rather than giving an empowerment to concerned leaders to find a solution. When it comes to fixing the blame, many leaders are likely to surge it off”, I gave an empathetic reply.

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