Showing posts from December, 2023

Leadership 101 - What does ‘Accountability’ really mean?

We often throw around words like responsibly, accountability, and answerability; however, many do not really know what these words mean therefore use them in the wrong context.  First of all, responsibility refers to performing a task, while accountability refers to the result. As an example, the First Officer of a ship may be responsible to steer the craft in the right direction, but the Captain who is sleeping in her quarters is still accountable when the ship is ran aground. It is said you can delegate responsibility, but cannot delegate accountability.    In the above example as the Captain cannot be awake on the bridge for days on end, it stands to reason she passed on responsibility to the First Officer but did not have the luxury of absolving herself of accountability.  Then there is the term answerability, which means you must be prepared to answer why something happened as it did, but often no real accountability exists. All this said, neither accountability nor answerability