So often people say, “There’s plenty of blame to go around!”—a favorite phrase of the media. It seems to be our human nature to immediately ask Whodunnit?! when something happens that was unplanned, disappointing, or embarrassing.
When it all goes wrong—even if we know in our heart that what we did was stupid—it’s tempting to spread the blame around saying, “Well, yeah, I did do that, but, you see, that person over there made me do it!”
Or this: “I accept 65% of the blame, but he/she is 35% responsible, too!”
In the ’70s, a common phrase that adorned car bumpers was this:
The Devil Made Me Do It!
It seems very VERY difficult for people to simply say, “I own the results. No excuses!”
If you’re one who gets excited over books on “emotional intelligence,” then here it is: Emotionally healthy people are okay with saying, “Yeah, I blew this. Foolish me. I did it; nobody else.”
If you’re also one who reads books on the overly explored topic of “leadership”—I just gave you the words leaders use, freely and willingly.
Yes, life is complex, complicated, and ever changing. I understand the temptation to look for culprits and scapegoats, but I’ve discovered, as many of you have, it’s simply better to practice Personal Accountability. Let’s each ask The Question Behind the Question—the QBQ:
“How can I take greater ownership for my mistakes and learn from them?”
Simply put: Let’s stop spreading blame around. It does a person—and a country—no good.
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