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How Did That Happen?: Holding People Accountable for Results the Positive, Principled Way Hardcover – August 11, 2009
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-Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 habits of Highly Effective People
"Packed with practical tools and insights, this is the book that can help you turn accountability from concept into reality."
-Jim Mazzo, president, Abbott Medical Optics
"Connors and Smith have done it again! . . . This book will provide a competitive advantage at a time when 'accountability' is more important than ever before!"
-David Brandon, chairman and CEO, Domino's Pizza, Inc.
"This is the right approach for getting results in today's global environment."
-Gregory J. Newell, former U.S. ambassador and assistant secretary of state
"How Did That Happen? clearly outlines the path to accountability. . . . We will place a copy of this book in the hands of all leaders throughout our organization."
-Michael Lippert, chief operating officer, Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc.
"Creating greater accountability in a way that captures people's hearts and minds is harder than it looks. . . . How Did That Happen? delivers specific and practical advice to do just that."
-Ginger Graham, former CEO, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
"Connors and Smith offer an insightful view into the underpinnings of accountability that translate into spectacular and sustainable results."
-Michael Kneidinger, vice president of worldwide operations, Hard Rock CafT International
"How Did That Happen? peels back the onion on achieving sustained accountability."
-Jeff Brundage, senior vice president of human resources, American Airlines
About the Author
Tom Smith and Roger Connors are cofounders of Partners in Leadership, an international management consulting firm with hundreds of clients in almost all major industries. They are also the coauthors of Journey to the Emerald City, a sequel toThe Oz Principle.
Top Customer Reviews
- FORM goals (Frame them, make them Obtainable, make them easy to Repeat, and make them Measurable)
- Communicate (explain the Why behind the goals to win the hearts and minds, not just the hands and feet)
- Align (getting agreement with stakeholders)
- Inspect (check in by Listening, Observing, measuring Objectively, and therefore Know how things are going)
The second half looks at breakdowns and helps people explore why a commitment has not been met. Four causes include:
- Motivation issues
- Corporate culture
- Personal accountability
For new managers or others new to the topic, this would be a an accessible introduction and framework. If you've ready any other book on a related topic, such as Crucial Confrontations or even The One Minute Manager among others, or you've been exposed to SMART goals, I don't think you'll find much that is very knew other than some insightful stories, and acronyms that provide mnemonic keys to help with the process.
There simply is no magic to accountability. Clearly established expectations, realistic plans for action, and then honest assessments with positive and negative consequences are the backbone for any process of accountability.
If you've never read a book on the topic before, start with this one. If you have, then you'll maybe pick up a few tips, but I don't think this will revolutionize the way you work.
The Bad: Initially mundane, but How Did That Happen quickly turns a corner, becoming compelling as you find yourself doing mental checks to see if you've properly set expectations with your workers to instill accountability.
Action Item: Managers should buy this book to learn how to establish expectations of accountability and how to manage unmet expectations. Knowledge workers should also buy this book to understand how they can become a high performer, using the accountability models, self-assessments, and lists from this book as they develop their skill set.
Beyond The Oz Principle and Journey to the Emerald City: Connors and Smith's first two books are required management readings. Over the past twenty years, managers have learned some of the fundamentals of management in The Oz Principle and Journey to the Emerald City. The Oz Principleteaches steps to accountability that establishes the necessary foundation for organizations to build an accountable workforce. Journey to the Emerald Cityexplained the path organizations must take to create a culture of accountability. Like any good trilogy, How Did that Happen completes the accountability storyline by teaching managers how to hold people accountable for results. As new managers and workers come into organizations, getting results through accountability is a repeatable process, one that must be vigilantly assessed and reassessed to achieve results year after year.Read more ›
The start of How Did That Happen?, where it talks about the title is a real eye-opener and a mindset changer. If I had to sum up the impact of the book in one line it would be way towards the front of the book where it suggests instead of looking at a problem or break-down of some sort and saying "How did that happen" we should ask "How did I let that happen?" Those two words are so powerful. It addresses where I so often see a breakdown in communication. That sort of personal accountability is, I believe, the hallmark of a good manager. If I find someone who does that automatically instead of blaming their employees, the weather, or the economy I'm thrilled and work hard to get out of their way and help them to be great.
One of the breakdowns that hit home the closest was when a manager will give vague expectations, unclear boundaries of responsibility and authority, and accountability and then be surprised later when expectations aren't met. Without giving clear, concise, and measurable outlines of my expectations my employees will find it hard to NOT disappoint me. I will be setting them up to fail over and over again by my own carelessness.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. I fully expect to see it in airports for years to come for business travelers to pick up and read on the way to wherever they're going.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As is standard with all their work. Connors and Smith drill it down to pay dirt.Published 20 days ago by Brad
After 30plus years in business I know this information can help me and the people who work for me be even more successful for the next 30!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent in the Accountability exercise. Must add to your collection.Published 2 months ago by SBE
While well written, I kept finding many ideas that were limited and missed opportunities to expand peoples growth potential. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Robert Guziak
Thank you. Exactly as advertised and delivered as expected.Published 6 months ago by Thomas D. Connell
Great info however reads like a college textbook and takes some patiencePublished 8 months ago by Mark C. Manderson
Very informative and well written. Has a great plan that anyone can follow to hold not just others but yourself accountable.Published 8 months ago by John