By James Mills, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International
How Steve Jobs gave specific individuals ownership of tasks to increase clarity and accountability.
Steve Jobs famously started Apple in a garage and put the foundations in place for it to become one of the world's most valuable and influential companies. Whilst his vision and imagination were very much at the heart of this, it also required bringing together the right people and leading them effectively. This article contains a powerful insight into what Steve Jobs did to delegate in such a way that there was ownership and clear responsibilities.
A blog post by ToDoist, the productivity software maker, explained the way that Steve Jobs ensured decisions made in meetings at Apple were carried out;
"There’s no excuse for employees to have any confusion after a meeting. An effective Apple meeting will include an 'action list', and next to each action item is a 'DRI' (Directly Responsible Individual)."
The directly responsible individual would have to make sure the task was accomplished. What Steve Jobs did was ensure a high level of commitment through increasing individuals' level of involvement. A simple allocation of tasks automatically removed the confusion that can arise when multiple people are asked to look after a responsibility. He understood that accountability through personal ownership was key to effective delegation - building leaders willing to take responsibility in the process!