Empowered or Accountable? Which Comes First?

Every leader wants their team members to be accountable for consistently doing the right things and for keeping their commitments. Effective leaders can connect the dots between accountable team members and success in such areas as revenue growth, customer service, employee engagement, and overall goal achievement.

Leaders can also be the biggest obstacle blocking the way to accountability. Either by not fulfilling their responsibility for empowering each team member or by micro-managing them.

Empowering is not abdicating the responsibility to lead or surrendering authority. It is enabling and authorizing each team member to make decisions and to take actions to accomplish the tasks expected of them.

This means the leader only assigns a task to a team member who has the capacity to complete the task. That the team member has the appropriate tools, information and resources for the expected task. That the team member has the appropriate skill-set, attitude and training to complete the expected task. And this also means that the team member is given the appropriate authority, freedom and flexibility to complete the expected task.

Without empowerment there can be no accountability; empowerment and accountability go hand-in-hand.

When a team member is held accountable without also being empowered, the result is finger pointing and the blame game. When a team member is empowered and not held accountable, the result is poor performance. When a team member is both empowered and held accountable for outcomes, the results are higher productivity, higher job satisfaction and less stress.

Bob Roitblat
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Bob Roitblat

Bob Roitblat is a Leadership Capabilities Expert and TEDx speaker. He helps organizations ignite creativity, overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Bob is also the president of Mainsail Consulting Group, a business-advisory firm. Also connect with Bob on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

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Bob Roitblat
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