“I understand, that, as a manager, I am accountable for the output of my team,” Janice was trying to make sense of who is accountable. “But my manager isn’t accountable for my output, is he? I thought it was only about our production teams.”
“As a manager, you are accountable for the output of your production team. You are accountable for their work output. Why shouldn’t your manager be accountable for your work output?” I asked.
“But, I don’t do production work, at least, not anymore,” she defended.
“Work is making decisions and solving problems. When your production team has a difficult decision to make or a difficult problem to solve, don’t you jump in and help them through?”
“Yes, because I am accountable for the team’s output. If I don’t help them make the right decision, I am on the hook for the consequence.”
“And you have told me that you are struggling, when it comes to hiring. You have a difficult decision to make. That’s work. What is the output of your decision making?” I prompted.
“It’s either going to be a good hire or a bad hire,” Janice relented.
“And why shouldn’t I hold your manager accountable for the quality of your decision?”
What’s Your Point?
Accountability is not just about production. Managerial accountability goes all they way up the food chain.
- Supervisors (S-II) are accountable for the output of production.
- Managers (S-III) are accountable for the output of supervisors (S-II).
- Executive managers (S-IV) are accountable for the output of managers (S-III).
- Business unit presidents (S-V) are accountable for the output of their executive managers (S-IV).