“I have to change. Me?” Vicki asked, not sure if she could believe her ears.
“I am going to hold you accountable for the results of your team,” I said. “What do you have to change?”
Vicki was not pleased. “Well, if you are going to hold me accountable for the results,” she stopped. “I have to pay attention.”
“Yes, you do. As a Manager, what do you have to pay attention to?”
“I may have to be more hands on,” Vicki replied.
“Yes,” I nodded.
“I mean if someone is out sick and you are still going to hold me accountable for the results of the team, then I might have to fill in.”
“Only in an emergency. You are a Manager. I expect you to drive a forklift only in an emergency. Come on. You deal with statistical fluctuations of many elements all the time. What are you going to do?”
“Okay, so we are talking about cross training, maybe borrowing a member of another team, considering overtime. You know, 30 is really an arbitrary number. If we were short one day, we can likely make that up over the next couple of days, as long as there were no late ships.”
“I want you to think carefully. Are any of those decisions, cross-training, borrowing a member of another team or using overtime, within the authority of your team members? Can any one of them make those decisions?”
“No.” Vicki shook her head slowly.
“And yet, those are the decisions that produce the results. That’s why I hold you, as the Manager, accountable. What else has to change?”