I’m not sure if s’mores are a Wisconsin thing or a universal bonfire thing? So, for our readers across the globe let me explain: in Wisconsin we have a sweet treat we make around the campfire: the s’more. It is a roasted marshmallow and milk chocolate between two graham crackers. It’s a very sweet treat and much too rich for my liking.
Let’s explore wants versus needs. My kids always want another s’more when we are around the bonfire. I always warn them that more than two can cause some real belly aches later. However, the atmosphere is perfect and they enjoy making them. It’s a family bonding experience that has become somewhat of a tradition. No one really needs s’mores in their life (although some may argue this), it’s more of a want. The fact is too many will make you feel ill.
The art of true accountability is not telling people what they can’t do, it’s keeping them focused on what’s good for them and the organization. In a family, it’s not good for one person to be complaining about a belly ache. So, a good rule is, no more than two s’mores. At work, it looks different yet functions the same way.
Every person has natural gifts that they gravitate towards. For example, a new manager who is a perfectionist will pour over the work of his direct reports and spend too much time doing so, even when he shouldn’t. It sends a message that the employees are not capable of getting things right. It prevents positive failure in learning how to be excellent. The manager’s prior job may have involved details, but now it is not his job. However, he is comfortable with it so he continues doing it.
Accountability means helping people understand what to focus on to become the very best in their position. This is how people grow and realize even greater contributions to the company and their own personal growth. When leaders focus on developing their direct reports everyone wins. Hey, how about celebrating with a s’more? No more than two!
ACTION PLAN: First focus on you. What should you not be doing in your current role? The best way to find out is to ask your leader. Go ahead, be courageous!
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