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Home » Management

Delegation And Accountability – Two Strings Of The Same Bow

Employee Delegation

Proper Employee Delegation will Help Ease a Business Owner’s Burden.

Those of you who read the earlier separate articles on delegation and accountability may have noticed several similarities in the concepts, and that is no accidentbecause these two building blocks ofmanagement are in truth two sides of the same coin, or as the title of this article reads, two strings of the same bow. 

Yes, to have effective delegation, you need to hold your designees accountable, and to be successful in holding your subordinates accountable you must have effectively delegated the required authority.

Let us review the concepts, looking first at accountability. For your supervisors and staff, accountability is the acceptance of responsibility for their actions and the understanding that they are required to produce a certain defined level of results. There are five basic requirements for creating accountability. You need to ensure you have:

Goals that are understood by the subordinates and their teams. They must know what they and their team are trying to achieve;

There must be buy in, subordinates must believe in the goal and if possible be involved in developing the goal;

There must be measurement, and both parties must have a clear understanding of what is success;

There must be communication, two-way feedback from the supervisor to the subordinate and from the subordinate to the supervisor.

And last, but by no means least, there must be evaluation. If the goal is achieved, say so and give due praise, but do not shy away from criticism if performance falls short.

Turning now to delegation, we said a basic principle of effective managementis that enough authority needs to be delegated to a subordinate so that he may take the actions he deems necessary to accomplish an objective that has been set. It is also necessary for the limits of that authority to be clearly defined. This means that the subordinate to whom you have delegated the task knows not only what they may decide, but also what they may not. The same five requirements described above apply, clearly defined goals and objectives, buy in by the subordinate, benchmarks, feedback, and evaluation.
Repeating what we said before, to effectively delegate you must hold your subordinates accountable, and to hold your people accountable you must delegate the required authority.

In that statement is implicit the main reasons people fail at delegation and holding their people accountable. They cannot entrust authority to their people. “How can I trust them not to make a mistake?” or “I need to know what is going on.” The problem is that if you cannot overcome these fears, you are still the one doing the job. To be free to do the job you are supposed to be doing as CEO, you have to get over it. Once you do you will never be the same again, and surprise! surprise! not only will the work be done better, but you will get your life back. 

Michael Anderson

Meet the Author Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson has written 25 Articles on Small Business Delivered.

With 45 years of experience in leading positions in business across North America and internationally, Mike Anderson knows the business of business. More important, he has learned how to teach it. He is now consulting to small and medium sized companies, specializing in CEO and senior management training. Please Visit

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