Hawthorne wrote about the shame of wearing the “scarlet letter,” “A” for adultery. In many enterprises there is an equally stigmatized scarlet letter A that people avoid. This “A”, however, stands for accountability.
Too often we are unwilling to assign or to accept accountability. Telling a colleague that he or she fell short of expectations may be perceived as unpleasant, unkind or disruptive.
Sports is an overused analogy for management, but no team can win if one position consistently fails.
Accountability doesn’t mean condemnation. It means acknowledgement and acceptance of responsibility. Discussing underperformance is the first step to correcting it.