Narrowing Focus for Team Success: The Power of Accountability and Clarity

As we reflect on the challenges of the past year, one recurring theme stands out – the impact of stress, burnout, and distractions on both managers and team members. A significant contributor to this challenge has been a lack of clarity on what truly matters and a disconnection from the outcomes. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of narrowing the focus for your team, emphasising the need for accountability, clarity, and a deep understanding of individual responsibilities for team success.

The Impact of Lack of Clarity:

The repercussions of unclear expectations and undefined roles can be felt across all levels of an organisation. Stress, burnout, and distractions become more prevalent when team members are uncertain about what is expected of them and how their efforts contribute to the overall success of the team and the organisation.

Moving Beyond Responsibilities:

While position descriptions offer an overall direction, they often fall short of providing the necessary focus for effective team performance. It’s crucial to move beyond listing responsibilities and delve into what each team member is accountable for. Accountability goes a step further, creating a sense of ownership and commitment to delivering tangible outcomes.

The Power of Measurement:

The saying “what gets measured, gets managed” holds true in the realm of team productivity. Establish clear metrics and benchmarks for success, ensuring that your team has tangible, achievable goals. However, it’s important to strike a balance and avoid setting unrealistic expectations that may lead to frustration and disengagement.

Clarity in 3-7 Deliverables:

Instead of overwhelming your team with an extensive list of expectations, focus on identifying 3-7 key deliverables for each team member. These should be directly aligned with the organisation’s vision and mission. Clearly communicate the ‘why’ behind each deliverable and emphasise the impact it has on the larger goals. Note – it is also important to ensure at least one of these is linked to living and leading your company’s values and behaviours. 

Motivation Through Ownership:

Providing clarity on accountability can empower team members to take ownership of their roles when trusted to deliver the ‘how’. When individuals understand not just what they are responsible for, but what they are accountable for, they are more likely to approach their tasks with passion and initiative. This sense of ownership is a powerful motivator that drives excellence, suggestions for improvement and possible alternative pathways to achieve the deliverables. To note – it is important to ensure team members have the capability, resources and support to think through the ‘How’ otherwise, some assistance may be needed to set team members up for success.  

Connecting Deliverables to Vision and Mission:

Ensure that each team member understands how their deliverables directly contribute to the overarching vision and mission of the organisation. This connection fosters a deeper sense of purpose and helps team members see the bigger picture, motivating them to stay focused on what truly matters.


In the pursuit of team success, narrowing the focus and fostering accountability can be indispensable if done correctly. By moving beyond mere responsibilities and clearly defining 3-7 key deliverables for each team member, organisations can mitigate stress, reduce burnout, and enhance overall productivity. As we embark on a new chapter, choose to prioritise role clarity, creating a workplace where each team member is not just responsible but truly accountable for delivering impactful outcomes.

As always, if you or your organisation needs assistance in gaining clarity on success factors or team accountabilities, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. Just click here and our HR specialist will assist you for an in-depth discussion.