Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

Lead Link Not Fulfilling Accountabilities

Hi everyone, I have a question related to the lead link role.  If a lead link is not fulfilling one of their accountabilities (for example, they are not monitoring the fit of partners to roles or offering feedback to enhance fit), what options does a circle member have to address this?    The solution we thought of was bringing this up as a tension within the circle first and, if it still not addressed, bringing it up with the lead link of the super-circle. 

Are there any other options we should consider?    Thanks! 

4 Replies

I pondered your question and reviewed the constitution and here is one more option which takes the direction of bringing it up as a tension within the circle.

2.2.3 Amending the Lead Link Role

A Circle may not add Accountabilities or other functions to its own Lead Link Role, or modify the Role’s Purpose, or remove the Role entirely.

However, a Circle may remove any Accountabilities, Domains, authorities, or functions of its Lead Link Role, either by placing them on another Role within the Circle, or by defining an alternate means of enacting them. When this occurs, it automatically removes the relevant element or authority from the Lead Link Role, for as long as the delegation remains in place.
If I am not mistaken, this can occur within your circle so at a governance meeting, someone can propose New Roles which holds the acquired accountabilities and have Lead Link to fill those new roles with members who have more competence with those accountabilities. 
I am curious what other coaches think about that idea. 

Hi there.  I am interested in the reason why they are not fulfilling a certain accountability - particularly if it is the one about providing feedback to other people and tackling potential under-performance that is normally associated with this.

Have they not spotted that they need to provide feedback to another?  Do they not have the skills or the confidence to provide this feedback?  Are they refusing to?  For me, each could require a different approach.  If it was me, I would err towards a quiet off-line conversation first, to draw the issue to the LL's attention and I would use a coaching approach to get them to realise the negative impact their behaviour is having.  

Not very Holacractic I know, but if it is the LL's capability or they just don't know how to do something, they might be able to realise they need to find a solution without going through the embarrassment of being publicly pulled up on it. 

If this doesn't work, then I agree raising it as a tension as you suggest.  And if that doesn't work, then I agree with Daesun's approach above.

Best of luck


Thanks Daesun and Julia!  Those are both very helpful solutions.  To give a bit more context, we are just starting out with Holacracy.  Even before we decided to transition, feedback was an expectation of the lead, but we found that it frequently did not happen.  

This is for a variety of reasons but the two most common are that the lead does not feel comfortable giving feedback/lacking the skills, and the second reason being that feedback is not top of mind so they don't set time aside for it.   We're not confident that just clarifying this as an accountability within the lead link role will resolve either of these issues, so having a couple options for each situation as you've provided is a huge help! 

Gerald Mitterer

Hey Alicia,

One more thought: to strengthen the powershift and to decrease dependency on one rolefillers capacity to evaluate role-fit and provide feedback it seems more appropriate to establish processes of peer feedback. However, this is typically an App that comes with me mature practice and should not be invented upfront without real tensions. 

- Gerald