Accountability is an interesting word. On one hand, it has a positive connotation as something that helps grow a thriving company, but it can also have a negative connotation. It can be associated with blame, punishment and negative consequences. It can also be confused with responsibility. You already know accountability is a buzzword word that’s thrown around like crazy in leadership seminars and the coaching world, but I wanted to really dive in to the importance of accountability as it relates to leadership.

Let’s start with an overall understanding of accountability versus responsibility, since those are terms that tend to be used interchangeably, but are actually very different. Accountability is something that cannot be delegated as a leader of an organization, and only one person is truly accountable when all is said and done. Responsibility, however, can be delegated to one or more people, and is more task-oriented and action-based.