For many people, the first signs of spring and warm weather represent the beginning of the summer season. Not so much for me. Every year the middle of June represents that new beginning. Not because the weather is usually warm and people are out and about enjoying the things that winter had locked away, but rather the middle of June represents the end of hockey season. Not until the Stanley Cup is trotted out to the middle of a sheet of ice in some fortunate city and handed to a scruffy, bruised and battered captain, can summer begin.

For those of us fortunate Chicago Blackhawks fans, this year was especially gratifying as our team won the Cup for the third time in six years. I was especially blessed to be with my family watching as our boys celebrated their hard fought victory.

Listening to the interviews after the game, Scotty Bowman, Senior VP and advisor to the team, and the owner of 14 Stanley Cup victories, was asked to comment on the team’s success and his son Stan’s role as General Manager.

“How is it that this team can remain so consistently competitive and at the top year after year?”

Bowman didn’t hesitate and replied, “That’s simple, everybody knows his/her role. Everybody executes his/her role. And everyone is accountable for his/her role. The GM leads and manages, the coach coaches, and the players play. Stan has no interest in coaching, Joel has no interest in managing, and the players work hard for one another”.

While I’m fairly certain the Blackhawks are not an EOS company, it sure sounded that way to me. When implementing EOS at my clients, one of the first things I do is teach the power of accountability using a tool we call the Accountability Chart. This tool is a powerful way for owners and their leadership teams to clarify the functions and roles that need to be present and fully functional to support the desired business outcome. Without it, confusion reigns supreme. No one is certain who is supposed to do what, energy is directed in unproductive ways, and the organization underperforms.

Scotty Bowman gave us a perfect template for success. If your organization is not achieving its big goal, use Bowman’s comments as a guide and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are the functions and roles throughout the organization clear and known by all?
  2. Is every member of the team consistently executing those roles?
  3. Is the team accountable to one another for their individual performance?

If you can answer, “yes” to all three, you’re well ahead of most and are creating the environment to achieve your big goal.

If not, start working on getting there and give yourself a chance to win your Stanley Cup.