wardell books

Chapter 3: Position Outlines

“Give up control, even if it means the employees have to make some mistakes.”

- Frank Flores - CEO of Marsden Reproductions

The Importance of Accountability, Authority and Responsibility

One of the most common complaints from business owners is that they can’t rely on their staff to get the job done to their level of satisfaction. It's extremely difficult to find and keep people whose standards match those of the owners. Consequently, they find themselves continuously supervising their employees, fixing their work for them, or even taking over altogether.

Of course, by now, you realize this line of thinking only serves to keep the business owner from realizing his vision. If he spends all of his time doing his employees' work, when will he have time to run the company?

It’s a vicious cycle that plays itself out time and time again in businesses everywhere.

Every time the owner passes responsibility on to his staff, they fail to live up to his expectations. Naturally, he feels that if he doesn’t step in to correct the problem it will adversely affect his business, so he rolls up his sleeves and gets to work.

The way out of this cycle demands both courage and faith on the part of the owner. Ultimately, he must give his staff some measure of independence. If he doesn’t, he'll become a slave to his own business and severely limit its growth potential. If an owner can’t trust his employees to do their jobs, his business can only grow to the extent of his capacity to operate it himself. When he runs out of steam, so will his business.

The good news is it's possible to have your business running the way you want without you personally doing all the work. You've already taken steps to reorganize the structure of your business through your organizational development. Now it’s time to develop a management strategy that'll put that structure into action.

There are three key factors to consider as you begin to give independence to your staff and to your business. They are:

  1. Accountability
  2. Authority
  3. Responsibility

The functions of accountability, authority and responsibility form the foundation for accomplishment and progress within the management structure of your business. All three must work together if your staff is to perform effectively.

They are like the legs of a stool. Eliminate any one of them, and the stool will fall over, unless something else is holding it up. If, for example, an employee is trying to do his job, but does not have the proper authority to do his work, then either something is not getting done or someone else is doing part of his job. Someone else is holding up the stool. Most likely it’s his manager. It might even be you. But how can you get your own job done effectively if you are busy doing someone else’s?

position stool