The life you live offers an array of lessons on a daily basis.
Almost about everything you do, experience, see, hear, and feel provides you with lessons. These lessons offer you the means to grow and improve.
But it’s easy to forget this as we race through life at an almighty pace.
We work, hustle, do-do-do, and rarely take notice of the lessons we’re given. Yet one of the biggest lessons I’ve personally learned in recent years (which I discovered while writing my latest book, ‘The Successful Mistake’), centres around an aspect of life that offers no lessons at all: BLAME!
It’s a process that offers you no value, and little in the form of lessons.
As such, it’s one of the biggest lessons of all.
Because how much time have you wasted in your life blaming yourself, other people, or the situation (playing the victim and wishing it wasn’t so).
If you’re anything like me, you have wasted a lot of time hating, whining, frustrating, and venting. You play the blame game and it makes you feel better (for a few seconds), but what happens next?
Blame doesn’t fix a problem. It doesn’t help you turn a failure into success. It doesn’t strengthen your relationship with others or with yourself. The only thing it offers is wasted time, which is no way to spend this precious resource you’re given.
So if blame isn’t the answer, what is?
An Alternative To Playing The Blame Game
By no means is this easy. You’re a leader, after all. You don’t only have your own work to deal with, but those you lead, too. Hardship awaits around each corner. You never know when your next mistake will strike.
In the moment when you discover such a problem, it’s hard to fight the urge to blame (someone in your team… the situation… yourself…).
In fact it’s the latter, blaming yourself, that’s possibly the worst thing you can do. You may assume it’s the selfless act or the responsible act or the act that inspiring leaders take.
To blame yourself is to lock yourself in the moment, unable to take the next step.
But it’s this next step where your solution awaits.
Instead of Blame, Embrace Action
What I’m about to say is easier said than done. I’m aware of this, and I know it isn’t always this simple.
In the moment, you’re fighting every urge in your body to fight back, and allow your hate and frustration to explode on to the scene.
I feel you. You are not alone.
Yet if you want to become the sort of leader who not only inspires, but turns bad into good, this is the only way forward.
And it’s as simple as: Face The Music.
In the presence of blame, you need to face the music and take action.
- One of your team members made a big mistake? No problem, face the music and carry on.
- You made a big mistake and feel terrible about it? No worries, brush yourself down and carry on.
- You feel let down, vulnerable, and fear the consequences that come next? Don’t worry about it, carry on.
Do the work. Solve the problem. Embrace the challenge.
Blame doesn’t allow you to do any of this. Blame locks you in purgatory; angry and frustrated, unable to move on.
No good resides in such purgatory, my friend.
No amount of blame will fix your problem.
Does this mean you take consequence out of the equation? Of course not. Sometimes you need to punish someone in your team. Consequence is real, so don’t think I’m suggesting you become a pushover.
But blame and consequence are not the same.
Blame’s driven by emotion and reaction, whereas consequence is more calculated than this.
So the next time you feel those emotions boiling, your fists clenching, and your teeth gritting, take a step back, have a breath, and ask yourself: will playing the blame game help me turn this around right now?
Assuming the answer is no (because the answer to this is always no), face the music, get back to work, and right a few wrongs.
The less time you spend in blame’s purgatory, the better.
I learned this after interviewing 150+ successful people about their biggest mistakes (blame being one of the more regular hot-points) and how they turned it into huge success.
They became the successful leaders they are by removing blame from the equation.
If you would like to discover what other traits set successful leaders apart, you may like to check out this gift I have for you.