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The Front-Line Leader: Building a High-Performance Organization from the Ground Up by Chris Van Gorder

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Chapter SevenHold People Accountable

When I address new managers at Scripps, one thing I explain is how our organization thinks about an employee's job. I ask managers to imagine a three-legged stool. The first leg of the stool is responsibility. When most people entertain taking on a new job, the first thing that comes to mind—besides the salary—are the duties they will undertake.

The second leg of the stool is authority. Every job comes with formal powers that we can wield in the course of executing our duties. And as we move up, we obviously get more power to go with our enhanced responsibility. I can write a $10 million Scripps check; the board has given me that authority. What would happen if our new managers tried to write a check of ...

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