The Responsibilities of a Leader

“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.  They make the impossible happen.”

How do leaders do this?  We must ask ourselves: “what are the responsibilities of a leader in an organization in accomplishing its goal”.  First - the leader AND the primary goal of the organization are the same. Leader = Goal. The leader is directly responsible for accomplishing the goal.  What are the specific responsibilities of a leader in achieving the goal?  We believe there are four.

  • Acknowledgement
  • Clarity of purpose
  • Providing the proper resources to do the job
  • Achieve understanding / eliminate confusion


Acknowledgement is the simple act of letting another or others know that they exist.  However, it can convey much more: you know their contribution and understand it and this is confirmed through acknowledgement.  Acknowledgement can be an important factor in stopping confusion, enhancing communications and team building.  We believe that acknowledgement is the single thing in shortest supply in the entire world and hence a leader can the most powerful when acknowledging their people. 

Clarity of purpose

Clarity of purpose from the top to the bottom in an organization or team empowers everyone.  When clarity of purpose happens in such a way that all understand their responsibilities or contribution and what their accountabilities are to each other, real magic begins to happen.  Leading with high clarity of purpose makes communications approach telepathic levels. 

Providing proper resources to do the job

Acquisition and allocation of proper resources for team members to do their jobs is a form of acknowledgement and, conversely, a form of invalidation when misapplied.  Leaders that provide acknowledgement and achieve clarity of purpose establish lines of communications that assure the optimum acquisition and allocation of resources.

Achieve Understanding  / Eliminating Confusion

Understanding is the outcome of acknowledgement, clarity of purpose and proper resources.  It is not enough for just the leader to achieve understanding. For magical results it is necessary for all to achieve understanding and this is the leaders responsibility. A major corollary of achieving understanding is the elimination of confusion

Gary Eyring, Karen Tuff, and Jim Thiemens

The Open Organization
2600 2nd Avenue, Suite 1206
Seattle, WA 98121

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