10 Accountability Questions for Leaders in the Workplace

As managers in the workplace, we often look out for employee behaviors. We frequently ask questions about our team members. How are they doing? How does the team become more productive? What behaviors should you praise and criticize?

And that’s great. Don’t get me wrong. Leaders should find ways to improve performance, motivate the team, and hold employees accountable. 

However, if you want to be a great leader, you should look at yourself, too. This is why I’m going to give you 10 accountability questions for leaders in the workplace. 

A study by Gallup showed that managers determine 70% of team engagement. You need to take ownership and go through daily accountability. 

Read More: The 10 Leadership Fundamentals Every Leader Needs to Know

10 Questions Leaders Should Ask Themselves for Daily Accountability

To become an even better leader, here are 10 specific accountability questions for leaders in the workplace:

  1. Do I hold myself accountable?
  2. Do I feel engaged and excited about the work we’re doing?
  3. Am I open and ready to hear feedback?
  4. Do I give my team the support they need?
  5. Do I set a good example?
  6. What can I do to improve the feedback I give?
  7. How can I improve in my role?
  8. On a scale from 1 to 10, where would you say your mindset is?
  9. What opportunities do I take for my own growth?
  10. Am I a good listener? 

1. Do I hold myself accountable?

Of course, the first question to answer about accountability in the workplace is if you’re accountable or not. This question will give you a gentle nudge to reflect on whether or not you’re living up to your own standards and the expectations of others.

At its core, accountability means you hold responsibility for your actions, decisions, and performance. You accept ownership of your obligations, duties, and outcomes, whether positive or negative. 

If you’re honest with yourself and ask this regularly, you create a habit of self-awareness and self-reflection. Gordon Tredgold, a Leadership Motivational Speaker, adds:

Leadership defines culture and if you want a culture of accountability it starts at the top. The leader must show accountability if he wants others to follow suit.

2. Do I feel engaged and excited about the work we’re doing?

Do you wonder why your team members lack motivation? Maybe it’s because their leader doesn’t show any enthusiasm for the work tasks and projects. 

This is why one of the accountability questions to ask yourself is if you feel engaged and excited. If you can answer ‘yes’, then express it openly as excitement is contagious. You should also inspire everyone to feel the same. 

If you answer ‘no’, then find the root cause of why you’re not engaged and excited and look for ways to turn it around. For the most part, 60% of managers say that they no longer like their jobs because of burnout

Read More: How To Help Someone with Burnout: 10 Ways To Get Them Back To Normal

3. Am I open and ready to hear feedback?

OK, this is a tougher question to answer. As a leader, you probably don’t want to hear that you’re not doing a good job, especially if you’re trying hard. Talk about bursting your ego. 

Get this: leaders need feedback to improve, especially from the team they handle. No matter how many accountability questions you can ask yourself, you’ll never fully know what the team needs from you. But if you get insight from others, you’ll have a better picture of where you can improve. 

To get feedback, some questions to ask your team include:

  • Is there anything I should be doing more of?
  • How can I better support you in your role and professional development?
  • What can I do to ensure that our team feels motivated and engaged in our work?
  • What would you like me to do differently

It’s not easy to hear the answers. But if you want to be a great leader, you need to be open to feedback and consider their words for improvement. This is for your employees’ sake. 

4. Do I give my team the support they need?

An accountable leader understands that they should provide helpful resources, guidance, and encouragement to the team. They want to support an employer’s growth and well-being. 

This question prompts you to reflect on how much support you provide and what adjustments you can consider. The end goal is to make the whole team feel valued, empowered, and equipped to tackle the daily challenges. 

5. Do I set a good example?

Did you ever hear the term “lead by example”? That’s exactly what an accountable leader does. And if you regularly ask yourself if you set a good example, you’ll be able to hold up a mirror to your leadership style

One very simple example of this is meeting deadlines. If you always tell your team that they shouldn’t skip deadlines, you need to be a role model. This means you shouldn’t skip deadlines, too. 

If you set a good example, you can say that you’re a great team leader. Our leadership expert Tredgold says:

As leaders, our teams are always looking to us for guidance and often they just model what they see. Is what they see from you what you would like them to do?

6. What can I do to improve the feedback I give?

Besides accepting feedback, leaders also need to give feedback. One survey showed that a whopping 96% of employees want regular feedback. Moreover, 69% say that they are encouraged to do better at work when they’re recognized by management

These stats alone should tell you the importance of feedback. Side note: If you must give constructive feedback, it’s wise to approach it in a positive light to let the employee know there’s always room for improvement. 

So if you want to be an accountable leader, you need to find ways to implement regular feedback. Here’s my suggestion:

  • Provide formal feedback in a performance review, say, once a year or every 3 months
  • You should also offer informal feedback for small things every week or every day

Read More: Is Employee of the Month a Good Idea? Here’s How It Can Go Wrong

7. How can I improve in my role?

An accountable leader is always looking to get better at what they do. Let’s say, after reflecting on this question, you realize you’re not the best communicator. If you’re accountable, you’ll work to improve your communication skills

Of course, if you don’t know what you need to work on, you can open it up with your employees or peers. Again, you’ll need to be ready for their feedback about your performance. 

8. On a scale from 1 to 10, where would I say my mindset is?

Leadership development starts with your mindset. If you have a 10-10 mindset, you’ll be able to showcase resilience, motivation, optimism, emotional intelligence, etc… These are attributes that a leader needs to face the daily challenges of the workplace. 

If you admit that your mindset is within the lower ranges (1-5), that means you’re very negative towards work, the members, and your colleagues. If so, you need to hold yourself accountable and work your way to a more positive mindset. 

Read More: Developing A Winning Mindset: 15 Ways to Win At Work and In Life

9. What opportunities do I take for my own growth?

There are so many opportunities to grow in your leadership role. Are you taking hold of them? This can include engaging in leadership training, reading leadership books, taking online leadership courses, etc…

There’s always room for growth. And if you don’t work for that, you’ll never become the best of the best. And this is what an accountable leader wants to be. 

10. Am I a good listener? 

The last question related to accountability at work involves your listening skills. Are you a good listener? Do you listen to your team enough?

Imagine a scenario where a team member comes to you with a problem or suggestion. As a good listener, you give them your full attention, validate their concerns, and ask questions to understand their perspective fully. By doing so, you demonstrate respect for their input and show that you value their contributions to the team.

With this, you’re taking responsibility for creating an environment where everyone feels heard and valued. This fosters trust and transparency within the team because team members know their voices matter.

Final Words 

Do you want to be an accountable leader? Are you looking for ways to improve your leadership? Then you should ask yourself these 10 accountability questions for leaders. 

Remember, if you want these types of questions to help you, you need to be honest with your answers. From there, try to follow the explanations I gave for each question. This will help you so much regarding accountability. 

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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