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Responsibility is one thing

There has been a lot of misuse of the term "responsibility"

 over the last few days, as though it is interchangeable with

words considered perfect synonyms to imply "blame" or

"guilt". This is inaccurate.

"Responsibility" means having moral, legal, or mental

accountability for an area or a function, so a pilot is

responsible for flying a plane, a teacher for teaching his

students and a CEO for managing her company. However, this

does not mean that they are to blame if something beyond their

control goes wrong.

For example, you cannot blame the teacher if a student doesn't

review the material properly or get enough sleep the night

before an exam, and gets a poor grade. That is the student's

responsibility, not the teacher's.

If a company has a policy to make regular backups of its data,

but the Computer Department ignores this or is negligent in

carrying out this task, and valuable information is lost in a

power cut, the CEO cannot be directly blamed, as direct

responsibility for safeguarding the company's data clearly

belongs to the Computer Department.

Bad maintenance on an aircraft is not the fault of the pilots,

who cannot be held responsible if problems develop during a

flight (unless they ignore a checklist or warning while on the

ground).

However, there is also "overall" or "ministerial" responsibility, 

where someone in a position of authority and/or not directly 

involved in all the routine details of the running of a company, 

department or organization, may feel obliged to take 

"responsibility" for his team's mistake lower down the line, 

while obviously not accepting direct blame for the fault or 

problem.

I hope you get the picture. As I am responsible for the material

in this column, please feel free to contact me if you have any

queries, issues or suggestions.

 

לאבחון וייעוץ חינם, לחצו כאן!


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