Authority vs Responsibility

Army Axiom: You can delegate authority, but you can never delegate responsibility.

What leadership questions does this video address?

  1. Can you delegate authority?
  2. Can you delegate responsibility?

Video Text: Authority vs Responsibility

You can delegate authority, but you can never delegate responsibility.

  • What do you think about that?

You’re going to be responsible for their actions and your own, but you can also make them accountable for their own actions. That’s the best… that’s the first time anyone has answered that so well.

I can delegate the authority to subordinate, but I’m still responsible for the job getting done, and that’s exactly what it took for Hawk to finally say, OK. But if you make a mistake and I’m the boss and you work for me, I’m still responsible for your actions.

Let me ask a different question: can you delegate authority, one, can you delegate responsibility? I can delegate authority but I can never delegate responsibility, now why? Why if, Justin, you work for me and I said to you you’re responsible but I retain authority, how do you feel? I’m a turd. On the other hand, how would you feel if you had all of the responsibility but none of the authority?

What do you think it could do for that person’s initiative? I’ve given you all this authority and here’s the responsibility but you can’t do this. You can’t do this and I’m not telling you before you try to do something constructive or take some initiative. I’m going to clip your wings after you try to do something. Now, would that stifle the initiative of the people on your team? And that was the point I was trying to make in my blog.