In a few weeks’ time, my oldest son, Dylan, will receive his A-Level results. These results will determine which, if any, university offers he is able to accept.

Like all other A-Level and GCSE students, however, Dylan hasn’t taken any exams. As a result of the pandemic, his grades are being determined by his teachers’ best estimate of his likely performance and ranking in the class, together with a statistical moderation of the school’s submission by the examination board.

Amazingly – and I never thought that I would write this! – Dylan wishes he could have taken his exams. “At least that would mean that I’d only have myself to blame if I don’t get the grades,” he confided to me earlier this week.

Without ownership there is no accountability. Dylan does not feel accountable for his grades because he does not believe he has any real ownership of them. All he can do is hope that his teachers view his past performance in a favourable light.

If you want to build greater levels of accountability across your organization, where people take full responsibility for the results they deliver, you must first create a sense of ownership. Only then will your teams truly take the initiative and do whatever it takes.

Building ownership is a Sisyphean effort. It is a never-ending task of developing mutual trust across an organization, aligning everyone behind a clear strategic intent and embedding a shared set of values and purpose.

In many ways, building ownership is the leader’s number one task.

Dylan may or may not get the grades he needs for university, but, unfortunately, he will never really own them. How are you building trust, ownership and accountability across your teams and organization?

Off The Record: Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd

We don’t need no education

We don’t need no thought control

No dark saracasm in the classroom

Teacher, leave them kids alone

Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone

What’s Your Post-Covid Business Strategy?

Find out how we’ve helped Mentholatum, the owner of Deep Heat, to re-focus their strategy, identify new growth opportunities and get on the front foot to succeed in the post-covid world

In just a few short weeks, Stuart helped us to cut through the uncertainty created by the pandemic and create a new, refreshed strategic plan that will enable us to rapidly bounce back from the downturn and accelerate the growth of our sales, market share and profits.

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