Bedrock leadership fundamental: Accountability

23 09 2015

“It is absolutely bedrock to the British Army’s philosophy that a commanding officer is responsible for what goes on within his command.” ~Mike Jackson

In light of the recent Volkswagen debacle, this is a very timely quote.  VW engineered their “clean diesels” to fool emissions equipment.  When being tested for emissions, the vehicles had one level of pollution coming out of the tailpipe, but when on the road, the emissions equipment turned off, and these cars spewed 40 TIMES what the legal level of Nitrogen pollutants were.

Now, you have to know that while the CEO may or may not have come up with the idea, senior engineers on the leadership team were fully aware of it.  The CEO and Chief Engineer should have their jobs handed to them, and be personally held liable for fraud – like, Jailtime.  The stock price tanked by 25% in 2 days, and many countries are going to be fining VW, and forcing recalls. If this doesn’t financially put the company out of business, it is still, nevertheless, circling the drain.  As leaders, remember that you’re responsible for the actions of your team.  Pretending you didn’t hear something, or know of something won’t be an excuse if it ultimately gets found out.

Speaking of bedrock (and non-polluting vehicles)…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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