Who REALLY Is Accountable for Training?

Who is Really Accountable for Training?

finally got this concrete out of the Colorado earth—using every tool I own.

But at least I had the tools.

This image provides us a clear message: People can succeed—and usually do—when they have the right tools.

But in this missive, we’re not talking about physical tools like shovels, vehicles, computers, and smart phones—but rather knowledge, skills, and competencies.

And the responsibility for people acquiring tools like these through “training and development” lies with, um, whom exactly?

Two parties.

1) Managers, with whom we share this truth:

Your job is to create a team that “spins like a top” so effectively that if you get hit by a bus on Tuesday nobody notices you’re gone till Monday.

So, managers—get out of those meetings and away from your desk to be with the people. Only then does coaching, teaching, and training happen. That’s what outstanding managers do.

And the other party responsible for “T&D”?

2) The individual, employee, associate, or team member!

In the QBQ! book we share these dangerous questions:

“When is someone going to train me?”

“Why don’t I get more coaching?”

“Who’s going to help me reach my goals?”

Seriously, if I have God-given talents and abilities, am I really not going to bring them to fruition because I’m waiting for my manager to train me!?!

The accountable questions—what we call QBQs—for each of us are, “What can I do to develop myself?” and “How can I learn new skills?” (A brief QBQ! “tutorial” here)

For a couple reasons, asking accountable questions like these is needed more and more in our organizations.

First, fewer people than ever are hired as a twenty-something and retire as a sixty-something with the same employer, so employers and supervisors will come and go. This fact tells us that individuals must be personally accountable when it comes to his/her own learning.

The other reason is this:


There is so much change, no manager can keep every individual “up to speed” unless the individual is fully engaged in his or her own personal development.

Tying it all together, what do we have here?

1. Every manager is accountable for the development of people.

2. Everybody is accountable for their own development.

These are “parallel truths” that possess a common theme of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. In outstanding organizations, where these truths are alive and well, a “performance review” would go this way:

Manager: “What can I do to be a better coach for you?”

Employee: “How can I develop myself?”

Whoa … what just happened here? This:

Blame, victim thinking, procrastination, and complaining were eliminated, while ownership for and engagement in the development of people and self increased.

Said another way, people are given—and seek out—the tools they need to succeed.

Now that’s outstanding.


Where does the ownership and responsibility for training and development of people lie in your organization?

 Subscribe FREE to our emails/blogs here

4 Responses

  1. Hi John,

    I love QBQ, and I love your blog! Thanks for providing this.
    I am grateful for this message and I am a firm believer that I am accountable my personal development.

    My company recently released an mandatory training course. I was very excited to take it, I found it amazing! I do not regret taking it one bit. I appreciate every effort that was put into it and all those involved.

    I admit I was a bit disappointed to learn the following week that my pay would be deducted for this training because I choose to take it during work hours. I don’t think this is victim thinking? I’m not asking “When is someone going to train me?”, but I find myself asking “Why do I feel ‘punished’ for taking the training. I am trying to find a better way to look at the situation.

    So glad for your book and your words!

      1. Well I did have my suspicion. I’m actually feel much less bummed simply that you replied so quickly. In what other time can you just reach out and chat to one of your favorite authors so easily !!

  2. This is great stuff, we’re going to share this with our entire organization. We just had 2 more classes of QBQ training with approximately 20 team members each so we are ensuring everyone is aware that QBQ is part of our culture and how we conduct ourselves. When you set the bar, it’s much easier to help those newer to the team and others more tenured to get on board. This is a fantastic training process and we’d highly recommend it to anyone wanting to facilitate engaged, loyal and self motivated team members.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *