Everybody loves to talk about “holding people accountable!”. You know, in the sense of “Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia“. The dilemma is that lots of people want to hold others accountable without being held accountable themselves. Management wants to hold the workforce accountable, but not vice-versa. The DICforce wants to hold management accountable, but not vice-versa.
When managers clearly define, specify, and communicate expected employee outputs along with the times that those outputs are due, then they have the information to hold an employee “accountable” if those requirements are not met. However, bad managers (of which there are many) aren’t competent enough to know how to clearly define, specify, and communicate what specifically is needed to get the job done. They do, however, know how to specify and monitor due dates – because it doesn’t require much brain matter to do so. Any wino off the street could be hired to dictate and watch unrealistic due dates.
On the other side of the fence, since bad managers don’t contribute anything to the org other than “status taking and schedule jockeying“, employees have no reliable and honest way of holding managers accountable (even if they were “allowed” to; which they aren’t). What’s an employee supposed to do? Call out a manager for not “taking status and watching schedule“? Yeah, right.
Sooooooo. Once you become a manager, a rare good one or a ubiquitous bad one, you’ve got it made. Your buddies who anointed you into the management guild won’t hold you accountable because it’ll make them look bad for choosing you (and of course, they can’t look bad in front of the troops because they have to maintain the illusion of infallibility). Your employees won’t hold you accountable either, because they want to remain hassle-free and you most likely don’t contribute anything of substance that is publicly and scrutably visible. It’s the best of both worlds and, in management lingo, a “win-win” situation.