Responsibility and Authority

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This, my friends, is too good to pass up.
From Seth Godin’s blog Monday:

Responsibility and authority

Achievers in traditional organizations often say, “I want more authority.” They mean that they want the power to make things happen, the mantle of authority that will allow them to get things done.

This is an industrial-era mindset. Management by authority is top-down, risk-averse, measurable and perfect for the org chart. It’s essential in organizations that are stable, asset-based and adverse to risk.

There’s a different approach, though, one that’s based on responsibility instead of authority. “Anyone who takes responsibility for getting something done is welcome to ask for the authority to do it.”

Ah, your bluff is called. And so is your boss’s.

Many people talk about doing things differently, but few of us risk going beyond talking to doing.  The “Org Chart” is comfortable, stable, executable.  If things aren’t working, rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.  Change, however, is difficult, frightening… and essential to survival.  If you seek excellence, it goes without saying.


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