Q: How do I hold my team accountable for specific, measurable results with- out being perceived as overbearing and demanding?

A: Holding people accountable requires you to walk a line between being too lax and too overbearing. Being too lax creates the room for nothing to get done; you get no specific measurable results. Being overbearing and demanding overwhelms your team. To achieve a balance between these, you have to lead in such a way that your team doesn't necessarily know it is being led.

  • When you communicate with your team, read between the lines of what is being said to you. You want to learn what is preventing them from attaining the results they have committed to.
  • When a team member is off task, simply ask them what happened, and steer them back on course.
  • Do not make your team members wrong; stick to facts and their commitments. In the end, no one can argue with that.
  • Don't be a lone ranger; you can't expect your team to ask for help if you don't.
  • Lead by example. —Clay Nelson is a business coach to contractors nationwide, www.cjenterprises.com.