Accountability as management by fear

Organizations that still favor a high disengagement, parent-child, command and control culture talk about holding people accountable. This is code for blame and the basis of management by fear. 

Management by fear destroys trust. Lack of trust destroys leadership. People don’t trust what they fear. When we as leaders lose the trust of others, we have no power to influence them. If they choose compliance as a survival strategy, it will only occur when they think we’re looking, and for as little as they can get away with. The opposite is creating the conditions for realistic courage. This inspires people. Inspired people trust us and become trustworthy. 

Organizations that manage instead by passions and strengths hold space for accountability, which they define as showing up with courage. In this lens, integrity is perhaps a more apt frame than accountability. To create the conditions for courage is to create the conditions for integrity.