Think back to those school days, (no need to say how many), when being kids, we were asked to do different assignments during summer time. One of them could be to read one or two books, elaborate a summary, answer a list of questions and give our opinion about what was the author trying to tell us. We were “responsible” for completing the task. The teacher was “accountable”.
We are not in school anymore, but some principles remain the same although the comparision with organizations can be a bit exaggerated.
In modern organizations every person on a team may be responsible for a given task that is required to complete a massive project. Back to school, You are the one to read the book, write a summary of it and answer the teacher’ questions if the moment comes. You can do what you were asked, ignore the assignment hoping that no one will ever ask, or roll the dice by copying from someone…
But leaders, they need to hold themselves accountables for the results. Accountability “is defined as taking ownership to ensure responsibilities are achieved as expected. This means that leaders must clearly understand expectations before making commitments.” So, as leaders, we are our “team’ teacher”. Teachers know the result they can expect, what they want to achieve when having their students doing something, reading, playing, creating. They know each student potential and their limits. They will take ownership for the class lack of performance, they will know how to reward and how to correct. So being a leader means that we can not be the ones asking what was the book about because the principal shows interest. As leaders, we have responsibilities: to know what kind of book we are asking to read, to prepare them for the future, to track our class progress and provide assistance if needed.
We are not in school anymore. But we still have a lot to read.
resonsilibity and accountability in leadership (Eagle’s flight)
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