Blame Doesn’t Work #86
Accountability. It’s something we seek from others, and when in a leadership position, are asked to “hold people” to it. Accountability can never be delegated.
Responsibility. It’s something we admire in others; responsible people own their actions and decisions. Responsibility can be delegated.
If I ask a friend to mail a letter to a client for me, they can take the actions to place it in the mail and do the work. I can delegate the task, however if the envelope doesn’t reach my client, it’s MY problem.
If I promised the client I’d send them a letter and I delegate the action of mailing it, there’s no problem as long as the letter reaches my client by the agreed upon time. If it doesn’t make it on time however, it’s my problem, not my friends’ problem. Though I delegated the action, I still own the commitment.
In our world, these two words are cousins. Though they are related, they are distinct, and many people confuse them. When they are confused, blame results.
In a complex world of coordinated efforts, it’s imperative to own what’s yours and not wait for others to “hold you” accountable. It doesn’t work anyway.