Job Definitions Should Be A Group Undertaking

Leaders are constantly struggling to find time for the important but not urgent activities. One of those activities is creating and updating the job descriptions/accountabilities for each of their direct reports. Though HR or their direct reports may help, they need to take the lead for managing this critical leadership tool.

When creating or updating the job description/accountabilities (they should be updating it at least annually), it is important to get input from the key people interacting with the job.  These “stakeholders” might include the job’s incumbent, direct reports, peers, the leader’s peers, customers, or the leader’s boss.

Engaging all these stakeholders in defining the job creates “buy-in” and makes it much easier for direct reports to do their job.  Because everyone understands the challenges and expectations of the job, support is offered that would not necessary have been provided without an appreciation for the job’s complexity.

Leaders who empower their direct reports by having the key people they interact with help define their job will experience more success.


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