Can The Same Person Be Accountable And Responsible?
Accountability and responsibility in management
First of all, many times people ask me: Darren if I am responsible, does that also make me accountable? No, not necessarily. It depends on the role you have.
So, let me explain. Responsibility is an obligation given to you. Accountability is being answerable for your decisions and the actions of your entire team.
Responsibility Vs Accountability
Consider yourself an employee whos assigned a certain role in a project. It’s your responsibility to complete the assigned task to the best of your ability. You can also delegate part of the task to your junior colleagues if you need help completing it. Once the assigned task is complete, you get to go home as that’s the end of your responsibility. You have been successful and you’ve delivered as required.
So, now consider yourself the project manager of the job at hand. At this level, you are answerable for every decision you make, and every project you deliver. If there’s a mistake, you have to take yourself and your workers back to the drawing board and fix the mistake. Furthermore, you cannot delegate your job to your juniors. You are ultimately answerable for the successful completion of the project.
A successful manager evaluates if the work done by his employees is up to the mark. While it’s also their responsibility to get it done right. Accountability in this role is vital to keeping up with the deadlines and staying on the path of success as well.
Remember, established accountability keeps a person motivated to do better than they have done so before. The sense of answer-ability or accountability is something that comes from within. It’s not imposed on you. Responsibility, on the other hand, id imposed, it comes from an external source. So, being accountable helps you cope with your responsibility in an effective manner.
Furthermore, It’s fairly obvious from this conversation that employees must hold responsibility for their part while managers are both responsible and accountable for every employee and project under their supervision. They can delegate the responsibility by dividing up the tasks but they’re still accountable for every team member’s work.
Flow of Accountability and Responsibility
Accountability has an upward flow. In an organization with a standard hierarchy, managers are senior to employees. Upward flow means managers are accountable for the work done by their junior employees. Whereas, responsibility has a downward flow. It flows down to junior employees by their seniors.
Responsibility can be given, received and assumed but accountability is something you must take heed too. Most often, it’s inherent in the position you assume. For instance the marketing director will be credit with the success or failure based on the outcome of ALL marketing campaigns. And if anything doesn’t go according to the plan, you will be accountable to your superiors and the job itself.
When your role is being accountable for the work done by your employees. You must be both responsible and accountable too. You’re also answerable for the work done by your employees. So, you must remain in touch with them to keep the work going and fixing errors. This effect will reinstate responsibility on your junior peers.
In addition to this, if you’re an employee given a certain responsibility. Your job is to fulfill it and deliver. The manager will evaluate your work. It’s up-to-the higher-ups to say if you should go back and start from scratch in case of a mistake because you are answerable for your own work.
I’m Darren Finkelstein ‘The Accountability Guy’
I’m a sought-after, highly experienced Accountability Coach, Business Advisor & Mentor. I work with high-performing entrepreneurial business owners and their teams. Also, I am a conference and event speaker on all matters of accountability and getting stuff done.
My past experience includes working at Apple for 10-years as ‘Manager of Commercial Markets’ during the inspirational Steve Jobs era. Then, building a successful entrepreneurial business for 15-years in the marine and lifestyle industry until we successfully sold and exited. I’m the author of three bestselling and award-winning books and are a part-time summer presenter in Melbourne on radio 3AW.
Accountability is my specialty; it’s a tool that I’ve mastered for my business over many years. It held me in good stead at Apple, and it kept me ahead of the game in our business. The result is that I’m incredibly focussed, well organised and outcome-driven which has led to my business success. Yet for others, it frequently makes people nervous, as it requires us to step up our game, be introspective and hold ourselves to account, which can be very uncomfortable initially until you harness the power and momentum it generates, with the realisation how powerful it is, and how effective you have become.
Did you know that the word accountability is regularly misspelt and often misunderstood? Businesses don’t really understand the difference between responsibility and accountability? Both are cousins but not the same. You see, you are responsible for things and accountable to people, hence the confusion. To me, being accountable means ‘doing the things you say you are going to do’, and ‘getting your team to do the same’.
Work with me directly and I’ll keep you accountable, hold you to your commitments, promises and goals in my One-On-One Sessions (limited spaces available) or perhaps you and your team would like to join one of my private Mastermind Group Forums, or try ‘Accountability Made Easy’ my (D.I.Y) online program. Want to know more about working with me? Visit Working With Me.
It’s my desire to hold everyone in the room to account, which makes me an engaging Speaker on the subject of ‘Accountability’ for your next event, conference or workshop. My goal is to not motivate but to inspire your audience to take action for themselves, to implement and execute.
I’ve got a full playbook of strategies that I’m privileged to share or maybe we can create a totally bespoke and customised package to suit your individual or team needs. For more information, visit my website.
After reading this, how likely are you to achieve your; goals, promises, obligations and commitments alone? Unlikely I suspect, without external assistance.
Book your FREE Unboxing Session with me ‘The Accountability Guy’!
Together we’ll examine exactly where you’re at, what’s worked and what hasn’t. We’ll take a look at your priorities to set the path moving forward.
Each Unboxing Session includes
- 60-90 min obligation-free Zoom call to discuss your goals, promises and commitments
- Examine your priorities
- Review your ‘To-Do List’ and we’ll dig-in to how you will implement
- Together, we will create a plan and set timelines
For more information visit: https://tickthoseboxes.com.au