How Did That Happen?

Holding People Accountable for Results the Positive, Principled Way

by Tom Smith , Roger Connors

Number of pages: 272

Publisher: Portfolio

BBB Library: Operations Management

ISBN: 9781591844143

About the Authors

Tom Smith : Tom is Co-Founder of Partners In Leadership and is a three-time


Roger Connors : Roger Connors is an American management consultant and author. He has


Editorial Review

All the surprises caused by a lack of personal accountability plague almost every organization today, from the political arena to every large and small business. How Did That Happen? offers a proven way to eliminate these nasty surprises, gain an unbeatable competitive edge, and enhance performance by holding others accountable the positive, principled way. 

Book Reviews

"The subtitle of this book, Holding People Accountable for Results the Positive, Principled Way, is a good description of the book's purpose. The book starts with questions about How Did That Happen - first focusing on the financial crisis which began in 2007. Financial markets melted down, billions of dollars were lost, banks faced bankruptcy and many other businesses were in trouble. Using this as a starting place the authors ask the frequently heard question, how did that happen, and then discuss how to avoid the need for that question by using proper accountability systems."

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Wisdom to Share

Accountability is a way to "act", an attitude, a way of looking at your circumstances, good or bad, and taking the view that only you are responsible for what you do next. . It is a personal "attitude" that exemplifies who you are. It is "a way of being" that empowers you, your team and your organization, to meet your highest expectations.

To hold someone accountable means "to effectively form, communicate, align and inspect the fulfillment of an expectation in the positive, principled way that enables people to achieve results now and in the future."

When you effectively hold people accountable, you win, they win, and each of your organization's stakeholders wins.

The Accountability Assumption allows you to begin with theview that people want things to work just as much as you do, and that they are doing all they can to make that happen.

Once you take accountability for your part in the failure to deliver, you empower yourself to get more done through others.

The more positive your connections, the more successful your efforts will be to hold them accountable for achieving results.

You cannot hold someone accountable if you have not first formed clear expectations.

You should take more time to form key expectations that must be achieved and that will require commitment from everyone in the Expectations Chain to do what needs to be done to deliver the results.

When you form expectations, you must weigh the specifics of what you want, as well as the specific people who will be required to take accountability to make it happen.

Sometimes people fail to deliver on expectations because they do not take sufficient personal accountability to overcome obstacles and determine what else they can do to achieve a desired result.

Motivators rely on persuasion to convince others to dedicate their hearts and minds to the undertaking. They speak from their hearts in a sincere, genuine and honest way; their stories always ring true.

Acknowledge success in a public way, not only the ultimate success of achieving the goal, but also milestones along the way.

Motivation means giving people a compelling reason to work hard on the cause in hand. When that cause matches their personal goal they get motivated to do what you need them to do.

Don't just address shortcomings but emphasize the progress people are making. Be sure to hold people accountable for what they do right.

You cannot hold someone accountable if you have not first formed clear expectations.