“I’ve got it” an accountability exercise 

It’s common for me to hear that leaders are struggling to hold their teams accountable. A discussion with one of my clients a few weeks ago went something like this:

“People agree to do things and then just don’t do it. We might agree to something in the meeting and then it just never gets done. When the conversation about the task crops up, they tell me they’ve been busy. Or, if I didn’t bring the task up in a subsequent conversation it would simply never be mentioned again.”  

The ‘I’ve got it’ exercise

To fix this particular challenge, I worked with my client to develop a technique to get things done. Something called the ‘I’ve got it’ exercise.  The ‘I’ve got it’ exercise stipulates that you – the leader – must keep explaining what you need until your team member says, ‘I’ve got it’. 

What next?

Once you team member says they’ve got it, then there’s a simple process for making sure it gets done:

  • You then need to get them to agree what they will do and by when. 
  • Ask them to set a diary reminder (and invite you) for the deadline. 
  • Explain that if they are having issues “keeping the promise” that they need to let you know and ideally come to you with an alternative plan.

So simple, but there’s a trackable and actionable process in place. 

After a few days, I got an email from my client about how the get it done tool was working and some examples whereby he had implemented it: 

Naming session

After briefing this into the team, I asked everyone to come prepared on Monday to share back 10 names. We got agreement on the requirement and I asked XYZ to set up a reminder in the calendar. 

Process work

I asked XYZ  to dig out previous work she’d done on for a specific date, then put a reminder in the calendar to check in on this day. 

Why is this exercise so helpful? 

It’s inevitable that your teams will be busy, so putting agreed meetings and check ins in place for specific dates means there is peace of mind for you as a leader that your ask remains front of mind whilst also giving your team a mutually agreed deadline to work to.  

Try it and let me know how you get on. 



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If you have something on your mind, a challenge you’re wrestling with or just want an alternative point of view, I’d be very happy to lend an ear and maybe help you start to unpick the issues.