Book Review

Winning With Accountability

The Secret Language of High-Performing Organizations

by Henry J. Evans, Cornerstone Leadership Institute, Dallas, Texas, 2008, 99 pp., $14.95 softcover

High-stakes testing. No Child Left Behind. Accountability certainly looms larger in the life of every school administrator. This book on accountability offers lots of practical advice and takes only a short time to read. Winning With Accountability: The Secret Language of High-Performing Organizations communicates sound advice using crisp outlines, concrete illustrations and memorable quotes.

Winning With Accountability

Author Henry Evans warns that implementing an accountability culture takes “time, patience and vision.” Like Gandhi, he says, we have to model the changes that we want to see in others. Too often, followers let their leaders off the accountability hook.

That said, Evans offers four keys to accountability: setting clear expectations, making deadlines explicit, establishing clear ownership and making agreements public. He then details the exact parameters of each step and how best to implement them. Each chapter reads like an effective lesson that builds step by step on the main teaching point, adding clarity at each stage.

Each chapter gives how-to steps for translating ideas into action, making this a good handbook for administrators.

Reviewed by Larry L. Nyland, superintendent, Marysville Schools, Marysville, Wash.