by M Anthony Sacco
What makes you … a great “manager”?
Bing defines it like this: NOUN – a person responsible for controlling or administering all or part of a company or similar organization.
The first characteristic that stands out, that shouts to me, in this definition is the word “responsible”. I agree with the use of the word but my observations over my long career tells me that some managers would qualify that word with “… until delegated”. A wise manager I knew told me this (and I could feel the truth of it when I heard it), “You can not transfer responsibility through delegation. You can only delegate (e.g. bestow) authority and then the responsibility is shared between yours, that is the primary responsibility for accomplishing the intended outcome, and the responsibility of the one delegated to, for carrying the ball, that is carrying out what you asked them to do. A manager makes decisions about how to engage organizational resources for which she is responsible in multiple ways like conserving, cultivating, training, development, educating, learning, strategy, visibility, gap-filling … or more simply put, for creating organizational value out of the resources she manages.
A manager is responsible for creating value and that responsibility can’t be delegated away. Success or failure to provide organizational value from managerial actions include the managerial decisions made in carrying out one’s job responsibilities. The decision to delegate is an intentional, accountable act with all the levels of outcomes that go with utilizing scarce organizational (in this case) human capital.
What do you think?