Accountability: Either, Or

January 26, 2010

Suppose I tell an employee that I am holding him accountable for signing up 40 new people for cable TV services over the next month. I provide him the list of potential customers I want him to use and the script I want him to use as he goes door-to-door. Does he truly bear responsibility for the outcome if I gave him the process he must follow? Who can say definitively it was the employee’s fault and not my instructions or script?

You can hold people accountable for the process or the outcome, but not both.