Leadership Essay

630 WordsNov 24, 20143 Pages
Authority, Responsibility and Accountability – The Right Mix by DR. MOHAMMED BENAYOUNE on SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 There is a wise saying, “Nothing is impossible if you can delegate.” People who know what, how and when to delegate can achieve great results for themselves, their team, and the organization. Good delegation is about balancing responsibility with authority and accountability. But what exactly do these terms mean? The Business Dictionary defines them as follows: Authority is “Institutionalized and legal power inherent in a particular job, function, or position that is meant to enable its holder to successfully carry out his or her responsibilities.” It also defines authority as “Power that is delegated formally. It includes a right to command a situation, commit resources, give orders and expect them to be obeyed. It is always accompanied by an equal responsibility for one's actions or a failure to act.” Responsibility is “A duty or obligation to satisfactorily perform or complete a task (assigned by someone, or created by one's own promise or circumstances) that one must fulfill, and which has a consequent penalty for failure.” Accountability is “The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.” Clearly, authority and responsibility have accountability in common. Without accountability authority can abused and responsibility neglected. How do we ensure that these three elements are balanced? I suggest you consider the following: Avoid giving more authority than the assignment requires. Although this sounds obvious, I have seen many situations where authority and assignment do not balance. I have worked on several projects where individuals were

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