In our work we frequently come across organizational challenges stemming from managerial accountability and authority being ill defined and misunderstood. We believe that establishing Minimum Accountabilities and Authorities is a “building block” of a sound organization. We will post more on each of these in upcoming posts but we wanted to first post this excerpt from the book in entirety as a definition. Look for us to add more depth and clarity to each of the bullet points below.



In the context of organizational design and the workplace, a manager is a person in a role (a managerial role) which inherently carries the following minimum accountabilities:


1.Their own work

2.The output of others (subordinates)

3.Building and sustaining a team

4.Leadership – leading subordinates individually and as a team so they are capable of producing the outputs required by the organization




VETO the assignment of an unacceptable individual to his or her team. If the manager is to be accountable for the output of a team, then he/she must have some say as to who is on that team.


ASSIGN tasks to subordinates consistent with the organizational level within which the roles are operative. 


RECOMMEND rewards and punishments consistent with an individual’s performance.


INITIATE removal of an individual from his or her team, after due process, whom the manager judges to be unable to do the work of the role. 


Managers are accountable for results.  Subordinates are accountable for their full commitment in carrying-out the tasks necessary to produce the results. Because managers are accountable for results, they are also logically accountable for leading the individuals (teams) to produce the results