Throughout Ohio’s stay-at-home order (which started in late March and has been lifting in phases over the month of May), I have made a habit of watching Governor Mike DeWine’s daily press conference. As we reached mid-April, the state’s numbers were looking pretty good and it was announced that – while there was certainly still danger and a long road to full recovery – Ohio had been largely successful in flattening the curve.
The initial grave concern that there would be a sharp peak inundating hospital capacity seemed to have diminished, replaced by a relatively low plateau that has held steady for a month now.
I’ve noticed that the Governor and other officials point out daily that the reason for the positive progress was because of Ohioans’ actions. Most people have willingly and effectively followed the recommendations to practice social distancing, wash their hands regularly, and sanitize surfaces. (Wearing face coverings has been controversial, but when I venture out to a store or to pick up a carryout food order, I can see that the majority of people are wearing a mask.) Each individual has done their part to protect themselves and everyone else, and collectively it has created a significant positive outcome. When he announced, on April 24, that the state would begin safely reopening on May 1, Gov. DeWine told the citizens “you’ve gotten us to where we are today.” He continues to assert that no matter what order he gives, the results will come by the actions of the people.
Now, whether one’s opinion is that reopening decisions are coming too soon, too late, or just right, the data trends and realities such as hospital capacity are measurable facts. This statewide accomplishment is a public example of what happens in the private sector as well. Business successes – meeting goals, making sales, producing goods, achieving desirable profit levels – are due to the day-to-day, minute-by-minute behaviors, decisions, and actions of all the individual workers in that company. Sure, the leader can state a mission, vision, or goal and might be able to somewhat compel people do what is asked, but true success is going to happen only when and if the individual team members buy-in, get aligned, and make it happen.
Individual accountability is critical to organizational results. Accountability is not something that happens to you, it is how you choose to take ownership of your situation and achieve results, figuring out solutions to overcome the obstacles in your way.
I’m pleased and grateful to recognize in my own business that our team has demonstrated great accountability before and during the Covid crisis. Over the past couple of years, we have implemented much organizational change such as restructuring departments, launching new processes, and expanding our use of technology. Rather than it being a top-down endeavor, numerous team members have been involved in the planning, decision-making, and execution. While change is always hard, everyone persevered and several months ago we began to notice direct positive results.
Then along comes Covid. In response, the team has once again grabbed ownership, creating and launching new products, learning new skills, and developing creative solutions in order to best service clients and maintain operations to the greatest extent possible. Sure, I provide guidance and set forth some basic direction, but they grab the ball and run with it. Even though, just like in the rest of the world, uncertainty remains and recovery is not guaranteed, their individual choices to be accountable, take ownership, and conduct themselves in the manner needed, contribute to the likelihood of a positive outcome for the company.
Way to go Ohio! Way to go Exhibit Concepts Team!
About the Author:
Kelli Glasser, President & CEO of Exhibit Concepts, Inc.
Kelli is the dynamic leader of ECI, harnessing her analytical approach to gain consensus and alignment throughout the organization. Her ability to break down problems into the elements necessary to solve them enables our team to make sense out of even the most complex of problems.
As the second-generation owner of Exhibit Concepts, founded by her father in 1978, she carries on the tradition of a strong personal investment in client success.
As President and CEO, Kelli shapes every decision ECI makes by seamlessly leading our leaders. She believes in the power of leadership by giving responsibility and authority, making her the ultimate macro manager. Kelli’s goal is to ensure every experience of partnering with ECI is a complete, innovative solution that exceeds expectations.