Healthcare Leaders: Establish Clear Roles

Leaders are only as effective as the team they have gathered and empowered to work alongside them. I am constantly reminded of my own team and the valuable part each one of them plays in keeping our many projects going!

This doesn’t happen on its own, though I admit that sometimes I wish it would. It happens by sharing a vision of what is expected, and communicating clear roles to each member of my team. It is critical that every single person on my team knows what they are in charge of, and have been empowered to get the task done.

Mark Dixon described it this way in a recent interview on America’s Healthcare leaders: “Success equals clarity on authority, responsibility, and accountability.” Dixon went on to explain a popular method used to establish these roles called the RACI method:

  • Responsible: The individual in charge for completion of doing the task.
  • Accountable: The individual in charge of holding the responsible person accountable to completing the task.
  • Consulted: The members of the team who help and assist in the completion of the task.
  • Informed: The people who are simply informed of the decisions made and the outcomes of the tasks.

In addition to establishing these roles, it is absolutely necessary to make sure the responsible party has the authority to get the task done. To assign a team member a task but not grant any authority is inefficient and frustrating for everyone.

What does this mean for you as a leader? This means that in order to be truly successful, you need to clearly communicate each of these roles, making sure they are properly aligned. By doing this, your team will be more equipped to achieve greater success.

Be specific and clear and make sure it is communicated effectively. As the leader, communication is key to beginning this process. As executive recruiter John Self stated:

“If you can’t communicate—if you can’t embrace communication, if you can’t embrace interaction—you can’t lead, and you have no business aspiring to that role.”

Set your team up for success by establishing and communicating clear roles!

Copyright © 2016 by Dan Nielsen –

About the Author

Dan Nielsen
About Dan Nielsen Dan Nielsen is the author of the books Presidential Leadership (2013) and Be An Inspirational Leader (2016). He regularly writes and speaks on the topics of Leadership Excellence and Achieving Greater Success, and is available to deliver keynote presentations or facilitate discussions for your organization. For more info, please visit or email Dan at

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