Nov 30, 2023
It's easy to get captivated by fancy titles. Often, we encounter roles like "Chief Marketing Officer" or "Chief Operating Officer" and automatically assume they come with well-defined responsibilities. But, that’s not the case.
This fascination is a distraction from the more critical aspects of the role and results in team members being either under-utilized or overburdened.
Some team members might be left with a light workload, while others may end up shouldering too much, leading to burnout. This imbalance not only affects individual well-being but also impacts the overall morale and effectiveness of the team.
The sad part is, that this confusion is entirely avoidable.
The solution lies not in the titles themselves, but in the clear definition of responsibilities that should accompany them.
Titles are just that — titles.
They hold little meaning unless they're paired with clear responsibilities, or what I prefer to call "accountabilities." These are the specific tasks someone must do to fulfill and remain accountable for their role.
Implementing Accountabilities For Your Business
I have good news.
There's a simple and battle-tested process you can follow to clarify these accountabilities. The very thing businesses should focus on instead of fancy titles.
First, make a list of everything that has to happen in your business, by department.
Once you have your list, you’re ready to answer these 4 questions for each:
- What? What is the thing that must be get done on an ongoing basis? Example: Customer support.
- Who? Clarify ownership. Accountability is personal. A task that's everyone's responsibility often becomes no one's priority.
- When? How often does it need to be completed? Often it's a daily, weekly, or monthly task. This clarity avoids ambiguity and ensures regular progress. Example: Customer support — Daily
- Success? Clarify was success or done looks like. Example: Customer support — A screenshot of 0 open tickets at the end of the day.
The Power of Clarity
I've seen how clarity in accountabilities can transform businesses. When everybody knows exactly what’s expected of them, operations run smoothly. This is something everyone yearns for (even if subconsciously).
It also makes it easier to measure performance and associate key metrics with each role.
A title without clear accountabilities is like a ship without a rudder: impressive but directionless. As leaders and entrepreneurs, it's our job to provide that direction.
Go ahead and try it:
- Review existing titles
- Identify their responsibilities
- Turn responsibilities into accountabilities
See you all next Thursday 👋
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