Our natural inclination is to avoid difficult situations; but understand that will be at a detriment to the organization. An effective leader understands they will have to do things they wished they did not; but it is necessary and beneficial to the group’s success. This is not much different than a parent with their child. A parent understands if they comply with all of their children’s wishes, their child may be happy for a time; but at a significant cost. Many children do not like early curfews, but a parent understands the risk of allowing their children to be out at certain times of the night. Or if a child is not interested in going to school, a parent is correct to demand they attend and fully apply themselves when they attend school. Much like a parent with their child, if an effective leader does not hold their team accountable, it will likely hinder them from reaching their full potential.
Deuteronomy 1:16-17 (NIV): Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”
An effective leader needs to hold everyone (including themselves) accountable to the standard set forth. Besides setting expectations, it is important for the team to know they will each have to pull their weight; no exceptions. While this may be seem as a negative or callous to some, it is actually how we show someone we believe in them and they should believe in us.
Proverbs 3:11-12 (ESV): My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
A leader who believes their team can rise to the occasion will not let them “get by” with anything less than excellence. A leader who believes their team is inferior to the existing standard will accept whatever productivity they provide. We should not confuse that acceptance as love, just like we should not confuse holding people accountable with animosity. Accountability is a delicate balance between encouragement and deterrence an effective leader is expected to navigate carefully. As difficult as it may seem at times, accountability without partially is a sign of love, respect, and fairness.