Delegation through Responsibility. Authority, Accountability


An organization stands on three pillars of strength. Responsibility, Authority, Accountability. Unless you are literally a one-man army, you have to rely on others down the line to deliver results. The best organizational heads know the benefits of delegation. They pick the right person for the job and then resist the temptation to micro-manage. Yes, the CEO can possibly do the task better (that’s what made him or her the CEO in the first place) but it’s important to let the other person do the job. Your job as CEO is to encourage and provide support. Once the person you have delegated the task to knows he or she has that trust and support, a successful outcome can be expected.

The three pillars of delegation:


Responsibility indicates the duty assigned to a person in an organization. It refers to the obligation of a subordinate to perform the duty as required by his superior. It is a continuing obligation.


No organization can survive without authority. The defence forces are an excellent example of how authority can be given and not questioned by subordinates. Authority is the right or power assigned to an executive in order to achieve an organization’s objectives. This authority allows for decision-making, enables the person in charge to give orders and instructions and expect them to be obeyed. It sometimes happens that the person given the authority finds that his wings are being clipped by a superior who undermines his authority. If subordinates realize that the person in charge can be over-ruled they will not give immediate and unquestioned obedience.


In an organization a person given a task is held accountable and is obliged to complete the job assigned to him or her as per expectations. That person is responsible for the actions of the people or group under his or her supervision even if there are several layers down the hierarchy. The person accountable has an obligation to report formally about the work done to his superiors, explain any factors responsible for non-performance and take full responsibility for the actions taken.

These three elements – Responsibility, Authority and Accountability – are inter-related. In the process of delegation, the superior transfers his duties or responsibilities to his subordinate and also gives the necessary authority for performing the required task. It is the ideal way to delegate. You can only hold people responsible when they have been given enough authority to do the job well without any interference from their superiors.

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