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Responsibility and Accountability: They’re the Same, Just Different

If you look up the definitions of responsibility and accountability you’ll find they are used interchangeably. But there is a subtle yet important difference between the two words. A good way to separate them is to consider responsibility as ownership of a task, and accountability as ownership of the results. Consider this example. Jack leads a team on which Jill is a member. Jack assigns Jill a task. It’s a…

Question

What You Don’t Know Is More Than You Realize

Business owners often complain that they don’t know about everything happening in the business. It’s s a truth many leaders don’t realize: the higher you go, the less you know! For various reasons, the more senior a leader is, the less he or she knows about what is going on in their organization. Sure, they’re well versed on the day-to-day operation of the company, and they probably have a broader…

Yes No

How Long Does it Take to Make a Decision?

It was a cry of despair. The retail employee was waiting to find out if the store manager had decided to move her to a new position as she had requested. After listening to her story, I could see that she really wasn’t being impatient; her request had been made some time before and the manager had repeatedly said he would have a decision “soon.” But days had turned to…

Water Alien

Water, Aliens, and Accountability

I’ve found the answers to everything. That’s right. In two words I can explain everything that ever has or ever will happen. First, human health. You have probably heard of the concern with the chemical compound dihydrogen oxide. Extensive research indicates that every person who has ever died or even been slightly ill has ingested some of this compound. Therefore, this substance, more commonly known as water, must be the…

Stop Sign

I’m Appalled – Enough Already

I’m appalled, though unfortunately I guess I’m not really surprised. Amidst all the rhetoric about equality and fair treatment, it turns out there is a lot of inequality and unfair treatment going on. Specifically, ever day now the news brings us another story detailing the sordid details of some new example of sexual harassment in the workplace. We even hear of overt harassment and even physical abuse happening in a…