The Blame Game

Have you ever played the blame game? You know the set a goal that isn't met and begin to identify every reason under the sun that it didn't happen, failing to take responsibility for the items that were within your control. Have you ever "called out" your team members and colleagues just to take the pressure off of yourself? If you can say "yes" to either of these questions, you've played the game.  

It never feels good to fail. No person or team enjoys setting a goal and missing the mark. We don't like the implications for ourselves or our organization - and that's why we look for the "real culprit." In reality, it's okay to fail. No, I didn't say it's okay not to try. You have to give your best effort in all of your work. But failure is a natural risk of reaching for something that is not easily grasped - it's a consequence of trying new things, thinking outside the box, and proclaiming a bold vision. Again, I'm not talking about complacency - I'm talking about failure that results from reaching for the stars with a concentrated, integrated effort that just didn't work out.

Failure is a leadership activity. The blame game is not!

The blame game shuts down creativity, reduces the capacity of individuals to take risks, and destroys compelling visions. It is a disease to leaders and their teams. It must be avoided at all costs. Taking responsibility for failure is crucial, but the blame game is crippling.

As Elmer G. Letterman once said, "A man may fall many times, but he won't be a failure until he says that someone pushed him." Stop telling the world that you were pushed, and start accepting the fall - that's what real leaders do!