The Buck Stops Here!

A good leader always wants to empower team members to honestly voice their ideas, suggestions and opinions.  It takes a host of different departments to implement any successful business initiative.  Each area needs to be proficient in their core competency (i.e. finance, merchandising, human resources, marketing, etc).  There are so many cross-functional activities that need to be performed well by different departments to yield the best results.

It happens in both small-to-big businesses especially when the company is stretching out of its comfort zone to reach for aggressive goals or a new vision -- inevitably the lines of responsibilities can get blurred. I believe that this happens through sheer interest and the desire to contribute but team members begin influencing decisions that are outside of their core competency. Honestly, it's fun to be engaged and know that our opinion counts.  But we always need to pause and check ourselves because it's important that team members express their opinions based on their expertise. It becomes dangerous when the advice is not grounded in our discipline or knowledge of our customer base. The scales then begin to become unbalanced; and, now there are influencers weighing in that just might tip it to make the final decision. 

When this type of decision-making starts to happen accountability begins to erode and a group consensus emerges. It's always good to have group buy-in because it makes the execution process that much smoother. But, ultimately there always needs to be a singular person (the leader) who is responsible for the final decision. Otherwise, there is no accountability.  

And, we all know that accountability is important in each and every business. Not for the "gotcha" moment but the business that runs best is based on established objectives, goals and measurements and will fundamentally always achieve higher results. 

Good leaders navigate through challenges by recognizing the situation and always know that the buck stops with them and steps up to own the accountability. 


Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in  Fairfield County Connecticut.