Taking Responsibility

It’s one of those things but if you are the boss then the buck stops with you.

There’s a saying that I think we all need to be reminded of and that is you can delegate authority, but you do not delegate accountability.

We see this in action all the time when it comes to football managers.

The players are responsible defending, tackling, passing and scoring in a match but it is the manager who is accountable for result.

If a team loses then the manager has to explain why and what happened and more often than not gets the boot after a string of poor results.

Is that fair? Surely it’s the players who are to blame?

Not quite. The manager selects the team, trains the players, decides the tactics, provides the motivation and game plan, makes changes in a match etc.

We can delegate authority but we cannot delegate accountability.

How many leaders do you know that look to blame someone else when something goes wrong?

It could be that you yourself make a complete pig’s ear of something.

If you do fail at something then yes, you have some responsibility but not all of it. That’s reserved for higher up the chain. Perhaps you haven’t been given the training to perform at the level everyone expects – that’s your head teacher’s problem, not yours.

Whoever is the ultimate owner of a project, task or course of action then they accept what’s coming good or bad.

It might be that the leader of an organisation is far-removed from the situation but he or she is in charge of the entire process so is accountable.

It works the other way too. If your staff perform well then you get plenty of credit.

It’s no use blaming teachers if things don’t go according to plan, the head teacher is ultimately accountable for everything that goes on in every classroom.

Head teachers have to accept responsibility for undesired outcomes even if there is no error or neglect on their part.

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