Accountability and Fear

First, I just want to get you a link to a great HBR article on Accountability.

Deb Mills-Scofield writes it so well. Fear of failure is an enemy of Accountability. First it kills accountability and then goes on to drive out commitment and trust.

So she is writing that from the States.  How do you think that is in China?   China is so bad in fear of failure.

Debilitating fear of failure is naturally there even if you lead well.  If you cannot develop a great culture, then it blooms. Risk taking is ruled out and passive following and job changing become the rule.

Let me paste a piece of that article just to get you to go there.

Since “failure is not an option” is still the modus operandi in most organizations and the odds of success are never certain, accepting accountability can be very risky. What if I can’t deliver? What if the people I need to work with won’t make the time or collaborate? What if factors I can’t control impede or inhibit success? Will I get a poor performance appraisal? Will I lose prestige, status, or my promotion? If there is a downturn, am I going to get cut? Unfortunately, these are natural, normal responses to accountability.

Accountability means putting our word and reputation on the line. Someone is counting on us — and we should care that someone is counting on us. If failure’s not an option, that can feel like too much of responsibility — or a liability — to take on.

What do you think?

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Posted in: China, Chinese Culture, Culture Development, Leadership, Motivating Workers

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