buckstopsherefrontsmallYOUR PURPOSE AND VALUES drive everything you do.  Fantastic!

But what drives it over time?  What keeps you from getting distracted by the pressures of the day and communication difficulties?

What often happens is that only one person is truly accountable to the vision: The founder.  But is that person involved in every decision and discussion?  Not if you’ve grown to any size.

Harry Truman’s “The Buck Stops Here” concept was wonderful, but that didn’t mean he got involved in all the details.  Or that he didn’t hold his subordinates responsible for their decisions.

It was more of a communication that he was paying attention and would ensure that his team got problems resolved.

If you’re sitting at the top of a company or group of any kind, it’s important for you to take responsibility for ensuring things move forward.  But do not fall into the trap of believing that this removes accountability from others on your team.  It will demoralize them, and keep your effectiveness limited to a very small organization.

You role is setting direction, establishing priorities, and exercising oversight.  And every leader in your organization will have that kind of responsibility for their particular scope.

This means that accountability is spread around.  Sure, you own Ultimate Accountability, but don’t think that you’ll be constantly exercising it.  In a way, the less you have to exercise it, the better your leaders are doing their jobs.