• Clearly defines mutual expectations of self and others
  • Takes appropriate actions to ensure obligations are met
  • Revises standards in response to change
Proficiency Levels – What it looks like
Being Developed
Asks questions and provides feedback in an effort to clarify mutual expectations Checks assumptions about mutual expectations and clarifies standards of overall performance Sets objectives that meet organizational needs Sets enhanced objectives for self and others Defines strategic areas of responsibility
Seeks advice on tasks and responsibilities when needed Checks the scope of responsibilities of self and others Provides recommendations to individuals and teams on ways to improve performance and meet defined objectives Monitors performance trends and identifies opportunities to improve standards Plans and decides upon the reassigning and restructuring of significant organizational resources
Monitors day-to-day performance and takes corrective action when needed to ensure desired performance is achieved Monitors and provides feedback on individual and team performance against defined standards Provides regular feedback and suggests alternative approaches necessary to ensure that organizational objectives and superior standards are achieved Influences and sponsors cross-organizational decisions on work prioritization, resource allocation, and long-range standards of performance
Delegates responsibility and reallocates resources as needed to ensure that priorities are met for initiatives within area of responsibility

What it doesn’t look like

  • Falling short on the delivery of commitments
  • Deferring responsibility
  • Lacking awareness of required standards for deliverables
  • Producing work that does not met expectations for quality
  • Compromising standards to meet deliverable dates
  • Taking longer to achieve results than agreed
  • Assuming no ownership for the standards of delegated work

Questions to Consider

  • What is standing in the way of me delivering my best performance?
  • What steps can I take to ensure my Manager/Team Lead/Staff and I are on the same page with expectations?
  • Do I know this to be true or am I making an assumption?
  • How are the tasks that I delegated progressing? Are my staff succeeding and delivering the desired results? What questions do they have?
  • What adjustments need to be made as a result of changed conditions?

Learning and Development Activities

Choose one or two activities that support your preferred learning style

Select activities by learning style
Doing Listening Observing Training Reading

Suggestions for activities you can do on the job

  • Are there some tasks you know you avoid? If so, list the reasons why and address them one at a time.
  • Break down projects and tasks into smaller units, this can help ensure all steps are included (as level of detail is increased), and time to complete each task can be determined more accurately (helping ensure timelines are met). Colour code or cross off items as you complete them.
  • Review and evaluate a recent project you completed. What were the results in terms of quality, time and budget? How did the results compare to the initial forecasts? Are there areas for possible improvement?

With Peers

  • Review a project, or assignment, here it is (or was) challenging to achieve the objective. Discuss together ideas of what could be done differently to achieve the required outcomes.

With your Manager/Team Lead

  • Ensure all projects and activities you are responsible for have specified outcomes which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time defined.
  • When formally or informally reviewing your performance, focus on evaluating the results of specific outputs.
  • Discuss project progress; where things are at, what is going well, what risks exist and how you plan to manage them.
Listening and Observing

Here are some ideas that can be pursued on the job, with some coordination. Use these reflective questions to gain more from your learning experience:

  • What are three key things I have learned from this experience?
  • What will I do differently in my work as a result of this experience?

Who do you know that is effective in getting things done well, on time and within budget? Observe what this person does that makes them effective and efficient. Ask what processes they use and how they deal with unexpected events.

Training Programs

UBC Training Programs offered through Organization Development and Learning:

  • In-Powering: Making Sense of your Talents and Strengths
  • Insights into Personal Effectiveness
  • It’s About Time: Set Your Compass

For UBCO course offerings, please visit the Events page.
Consider working with a coach following training, to aid in anchoring your learning:


Choose to read one or two of the books listed below. Consider the reflective questions to enhance your learning:

  • What are the key points the author is making?
  • What are three key things I have learned from this reading?
  • What will I do differently in my work as a result of gaining this knowledge?


The Power of Personal Accountability: Achieve What Matters to You; (2004), M. Samuel & S. Chiche; Xephor Press. This book challenges us to pay attention to what really matters, to discover where you spend your time and energy then understand what works and what doesn’t and then use simple strategies change what doesn’t work.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook; (2003) by S. R. Covey; Fireside. This individualized workbook teaches readers to fully internalize the 7 Habits through private and thought-provoking exercises, whether they are already familiar with the principles or not. This reference offers solutions to both personal and professional challenges.


Accountability: Freedom and Responsibility Without Control; (2002), R. Lebow & R. Spitzer; Berrett-Koehler Publishers. This book shows how to get people in organizations to be more personally accountable for high performance in their work and for the success of the organization – without resorting to the traditional management systems that rely on control and manipulation. Emphasises that by gaining a higher sense of self-worth and autonomy, the quality of employee decision-making skills is greatly improved.

Creating the Accountable Organization: A Practical Guide To Performance Execution; (2006), M. Samuel; Xephor Press. A practical guide to bringing accountability into the workplace and into the daily life of managers and staff. Provides a working guide, through specific examples, of what accountability is; how to instil it within your company; and how to measure and quantify its effectiveness.

Managing By Accountability: What Every Leader Needs to Know about Responsibility, Integrity and Results; (2007), M. D. Dealy & A. R. Thomas; Greenwood Publishing. This book presents how to develop and promote the principles of accountability, responsibility, and integrity in any organization—and at every level.

Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of high –Performing Organizations; (2008), H. J. Evans; Corner Stone Leadership Institute. This book offers guidance to you, your colleagues and your team to reach new levels of excellence and success by presenting a step-by-step guide to help improve performance by creating a culture of accountability. The strategies in this book are simple, easy to implement and the results are immediate.

Additional Questions

Please contact your Human Resources Representative with any additional questions.

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