Irresponsibility

Each one of us has responsibilities: acknowledged or not, to ourselves and to others, our own or handed over.  In the corporate world, beyond individual responsibilities, there is a character that must collect and carry the group’s responsibility – the manager.  He is the one who besides the laurels for success should also wear and bear the burden of failure because the manager has many trumps and levers through which he can decisively influence the result of the subordinated team.

He can enforce formal authority by praises and bonuses or reprimands and penalizations.  He can allocate resources in the manner he sees appropriate according to availability, quality and purpose.  He can intervene by decisions correcting a path which doesn’t seem to go right.  He can also get additional resources from the rest of the organization – budgets, deferrals, exceptions, collaboration from other departments or top-level decisions that can sustain the team.

If he can, at any time, exercise these power tools isn’t it normal that he should bear the responsibility of the entire team results?  Beyond internal or external factors that may influence, for better or for worse, the activity of the team the manager is responsible at least for his own manner of exercising his rights.  Responsibility is a handcuff, but it is included in the standard management package.

It is likely that, of all defects subordinates see in their managers, the worst is deflecting responsibility when things are no longer rosy.  The manager who, when the storm comes, is looking around for an individual lair leaving the rest to cope on their own; the manager who is visible for award ceremonies yet invisible in times of distress; the manager who throws accusations, threats or smoke grenades at his unworthy or unlucky subordinates – this is a manager who is considered a doom by any subordinate.  Because he is a manager responsible only for the crime of irresponsibility.