Technology and Management Solutions Pursuit of Passionate Purpose
    August 2007
In the August 2007 Newsletter
  Holding People Accountable / Upcoming Events

Is Your Team Accountable to Deliver What Is Expected?

Have you ever experienced challenges in accomplishing goals with a team? If so, you are not alone. Does this sound familiar? One (or more) team player:
Does not deliver on time. The person does not make the due date and keeps asking for more time.
Delivers poor quality work. When something is finally delivered, it is not up to the performance standard — it is just not good enough.
Exceeds budget.
Does not communicate effectively with others.
Is not accountable for delivering what is expected.

As the manager, this is your headache. Your job is to hold the team accountable to deliver and exceed expectations. Otherwise, one person's poor performance can negatively impact the entire project and team, and you teach people that mediocrity is acceptable. The next project will have even more difficulties. If this continues, the future of your organization will soon be in jeopardy.

Make sure you have the right people on the right seats on your bus. Review your talent with a scorecard to determine if you have A, B, or C players. 'A' players, or the top performers, are much more likely to be accountable and exceed expectations. Be honest. Do you hire and surround yourself with other A players? If not, take action and upgrade your team (see below for information on the "Topgrading" workshop).
Set an organizational goal, divide it into smaller parts, and establish a plan.
Assign responsibilities to those people who have the wherewithal to do a good job.
Establish and post a clear accountability table of who is to do what by when. Make this posting very visible. Be aggressive but realistic in setting feasible due dates. It is important that team players understand what needs to delivered. You want to set the team up for success.
Get going and begin to execute.
Review progress regularly with the team on the 'who/what/when' table. Depending on your project, this communication might be daily, weekly, or monthly during meetings, via emails, on the website, or via other posting means. As the manager, you must hold people accountable.
Communicate status honestly to the entire team. If someone is not delivering, do not cover it up or let the due date slip an unreasonable amount of time. Use the team setting as a natural way to provide healthy peer pressure.
Meet one-on-one with a player who is not delivering. Make sure the player knows that he/she is NOT meeting expectations and that this is a problem. The sooner the feedback the better. Sometimes midcourse corrections and coaching are necessary to establish a reasonable workload, provide creative suggestions, or brainstorm on alternative approaches. Documentation is important. It's best to provide a written summary to the team player so there is no confusion on the performance gap and what he/she must do by when to close the gap. Put this summary into the person's file. Schedule regular one-on-one follow-up meetings to ensure the gap is closed and the person delivers what is needed.
If a team player consistently fails to deliver, the manager must take action. Sometimes reassignment or 'amputation' is the kindest cure. The faster the firm is growing, the sooner this action should be taken.


One of my clients was having difficulty with a team player who was not being accountable and not delivering what was expected on schedule. The person's manager was understanding at first and then in frustration started doing some of the tasks. The rest of the team was also aggravated by this. After the project had slipped 3 months, the CEO got involved knowing that immediate corrections were needed.

Technology and Management Solutions was brought in to coach the manager on how to hold team players accountable AND to hold the manager accountable for keeping team players accountable. Based on this coaching, and before more problems surface, the manager is working with each team player to establish clear, written quarterly objectives for each person on the team, define metrics to track progress in meeting the objectives, report current status, and create/post job descriptions for each contributor.

Upcoming Public Events

Wednesday, October 3, 2007. 7:00 PM MDT. Have a fun, networking evening and vote for Theresa as she participates in the premier "Dancing with Boulder's Stars" fundraiser. Modeled after the hit television show, Theresa is one of six local celebrities partnered with six local dance instructors. Vote for your favorite dancers by casting votes at $1.00 each. All proceeds benefit the YWCA of Boulder County. Tickets for sale at the Boulder Theater at 303-786-7030 or

Wednesday, October 17, 2007. Theresa is a judge for the Esprit Entrepreneur Awards from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. The hottest entrepreneurial ventures of Boulder County will be recognized. Make your reservation for the day-long activities (some are free) at

Tuesday - Wednesday, October 23 - 24, 2007. Attend the Gazelles Fall Growth Summit with Theresa in Las Vegas. For more information, visit and register with Theresa ( so you're invited to her opening night reception. Then hear seven of the best thought leaders in the industry.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007. Workshop on "Topgrading: Hire 'A' Players," with Geoff Smart, Ph.D., in Denver. For more information, visit and register with Theresa ( so you get a special bonus. See the July 2007 "Szczurek Success Strategies" newsletter for insights on this powerful approach to solving the #1 problem for career and financial success.

Hold Your Team Accountable and Bring Your Firm to New Heights in Profit, Productivity, and Passion

Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D.
CEO, Entrepreneur, Consultant & Business Coach, Speaker & Author
Technology and Management Solutions, LLC

P.S. Pass it on. Feel free to share this newsletter with your colleagues.
Theresa M. Szczurek, Ph.D.

Technology and Management Solutions

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