When things go badly, successful managers need to look first at themselves and then at others. Our guest blogger, Mr Brian Saunders, muses on how to turn blame into responsibility and so become more accountable – ultimate, more succesful.
I’ve just been checking my Facebook again and reading yet more stories of blame. It seems we all take a little satisfaction in finding someone or something to blame. Our parents, our politicians, our past, the prices, the taxes and even the weather. Blame is such an embedded attitude that we often don’t see just how much damage it is doing.
Let me give you an example. I’ve been working freelance with a particular company for three years. However, I was getting frustrated and blaming my economic circumstances on the company. You would hear me say ‘they don’t pay me enough’, ‘they’re making me work longer for the same amount’… Then I began to add the exchange rate to my woes. ‘Three years ago, the GB pound was worth much more.’ Blame accumulates. Blame multiplies. Blame quickly becomes second nature. All along my reaction was to blame. But, sad to say, ‘blame’ is surprisingly similar in result to ‘lazy’.
Here’s the rub. All the while I was keeping my attention on blame, I kept my sub-conscious from doing something positive about my condition. You see, blame makes me sit back and say, consciously or unconsciously ‘it’s not my fault’. The need for change is out there somewhere, with someone else. I should wait for change, whilst, of course, continuing to harp on about how bad everything is! Truth to say, when we blame someone or something else we prevent progress and we lose out on the amazing opportunity to be responsible for initiating the upward curve of change. Blame is a switch which prevents the current from flowing towards decision and action. End result – no change.
To return to my story, drinking coffee with a colleague at a conference just two months ago, I got one of those jolts that life sometimes delivers us. Realised, as Jim Rohn would have said, ‘for things to change, I must change’. I came home, took responsibility for the situation and decided it was time for action. I asked myself, what I could do differently. The company was not going to shift, but I could. I developed some skills, confronted my security a little, set some goals and, most importantly, stopped playing the blame game and took responsibility. Within two months, radical results. A near 50% rise in income. A serious change in my future vision and a smile on my face when I think about my own personal development.
So, let me ask you, what are we blaming at present? Our circumstances, politics, the economy, our families…. who knows how much we find to blame. But what if we took responsibility, not to change the stuff that we can’t change, but to change ourselves and alter the perspective of our words and our attitude. Today, let’s take responsibility, instead of allowing blame to be the lazy armchair we don’t get out of.