Every month, Seth Anderson (Weifield’s CEO) pens a new ‘CEO Connection’ column for our company’s monthly newsletter, WiredIn — each addressing a different relevant issue that Seth wishes to expand on for the month.
We are excited to post the fourth of Seth’s 2019 columns, here, for April, 2019 — on the topic of accountability.
WHOSE JOB IS IT, ANYWAY?
This is a little story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody (you may have heard this one, before):
‘There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody, when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.’
Everything we do at Weifield involves others. We all have a certain responsibility to one another to make sure things happen and everyone is important to make us successful. Some of the jobs that need to be done do not always feed us, but are necessary to keep things on the right track; these jobs might be hard to spot are not easy and some may be outside our comfort zone. This may be one reason we have a hard time communicating with our fellow workers. We may tell ourselves stories that keep us from having conversations with someone in leadership or someone who we work with. Many of us feel we won’t say something and that our manager or their manager will see what we see, and say something.
A little while ago we had an employee who was running projects for us. From a distance, this person looked like they were doing a great job. The project was clean and appeared to be running on track. If it wasn’t for the courageous people who stepped up and said something about this person we would have never knew something was wrong. We soon discovered the person was leaving early and missing reporting time. This person broke trust and in impacted many of us. It is hard to let someone go in an economy where we really need to depend on everyone, but at the end of the day if they don’t hold true to our values, they are not really on our team.
I tell you this story in order for you to understand how important you are in making sure we all live the values we believe in. We need to build trust in one another. In order to build the trust, we need to be able to talk to one another about the tough issues. This is a fundamental part of building a team and living our values.
Building a team consists of people demonstrating courage. If you are not able to stand up for things you believe in, how will you be able to stand up for what the company believes in? There is a parable in the Bible that talks about three people who were each given responsibility. Two of the people took the responsibility on and multiplied the outcome. The third did not do anything with the responsibility. The two who took the chance and multiplied the outcome were given much more and the other was stripped of their responsibility (Matthew 25:14-30 & Luke 19:12-27). Be aggressive and take a chance.
Building a team involves building loyalty. Loyalty is knowing that we have each other’s backs. If someone is not following our values and you see this, being loyal will mean you will protect the other team that don’t see this know that you are looking out for the greater good. If you see someone not being safe, not showing up on time, stealing, etc. it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure that one bad apple doesn’t affect the rest of the team.
We all need to model accountability…one of the items we stumbled on over the last few years is accountability. When we started up 17 years ago, the four of us had to wear many hats. We had to make all the decisions, all the calls, we were responsible for everything that happened… whether good or bad. Now, that responsibility lies with all of us. We need to make sure not to blame others for not doing something about it if we haven’t tried to do something about it, first.
So whose job is it, anyway — to make sure we are following the values of the company and maintaining the culture? The answer is, it’s everyone’s job. It starts by having the right values — People, Advancing Process, Community, and Trusting Relationships. These values are the drivers for decisions, making sure we have the right people, and making sure the right people are in the right places. Let’s follow those values…together! Until next time.