A Case for Playing the Blame Game

4 minutes to read

When times get tough, a lot of leaders and entrepreneurs start playing the blame game.

Let’s say you have targets in your organization and they’re off track — and everybody’s working remotely. You feel like there’s no accountability where there should be. People aren’t contributing. They’re not working as hard as you.

I’ve fallen into these traps myself, and it’s easy to start looking around for people to blame: other leaders, team members, whoever it might be. It’s frustrating.

But when you start to play the blame game, it’s because you’re scared. False evidence appearing real.

Now is an important time to be aligned with your team, your leadership team, and your entire organization as a whole. The blame game is a byproduct of fear. Do you want to end all that blame? Turn it inward. Are you looking for someone to blame? Blame yourself.

True leaders always accept responsibility for everything in their world — good and bad.

What’s going well? What’s going poorly? When you accept that responsibility and take that level of ownership, that’s where things start to improve. Every time I share my thoughts like this, it’s about something we’re experiencing and hopefully trying to save somebody else from making a similar mistake.

It is more important than ever to stay aligned. The reality is if you give people the benefit of the doubt, chances are they’re working their tails off right now. They’re fully committed. If things are not going your way and you’re looking for someone to blame, blame yourself.

Blame the leader because it’s your job to figure it out. If that is not for you, then perhaps you’re in the wrong line of work.

The reality is if you don’t want to blame anybody, you can just let go of all your team members and blame your clients and vendors.

Just know that alone you can go fast, but together you can go far

When you’ve got an aligned team that is working hard for you and everybody is truly aligned, you can get through just about anything. So I caution you against falling apart at a time like this.

When you’ve got a series of challenges and barriers, one after another, things are not going to go your way consistently — and it’s easy for people to start pointing fingers within an organization.

You can turn all this around.

When you have that level of alignment, you’ve got to have a level of honesty and transparency. That’s something that we’ve been doing that helps us preserve that alignment.

If you don’t know all the answers, perhaps share that. Ask for help. Leaders should lead by example, and the belief that you’ve got it all figured out — especially in times of uncertainty — is just simply not true.

When everyone is leaning on one another and you have a team that wants to be in the foxhole with one another, you can figure it out. There’s trust, there’s transparency, there’s vulnerability, there’s honesty, all those things.

Let the ego go and figure out what needs to happen to move things in a positive trajectory to grow, build, and come out better and stronger than before.

The thing that crushes blame is gratitude. Look at the things that are going well and all the wins.

If you’re looking at it from a pessimistic standpoint, perspective is a very powerful motivator. People in a lot of businesses around this country are struggling. You look at healthcare workers and how dedicated and committed they are right now.

When you put those things into perspective, there’s a lot to be very grateful for — and you’ll find that out of that comes creativity, innovation, and opportunity, all the good things that you’ll look back on later perhaps and say, “You know what? Had it not been for that situation, we would have never grown in this way. We would have never seen what we were truly capable of.” You’ll find that it’s going to be a valuable catalyst.

Don’t fall apart just because you’re looking for someone to put your frustrations on.

When in doubt, if you want to play the blame game, blame yourself.

Not only is that going to save everybody else a lot of pain and frustration to keep them aligned, but you’ll also take true ownership and responsibility for the fact that you are the leader and anything that’s not working falls on you.


If you agree or disagree with anything said here, I want to know about it. Text me at 404–531–7691 to tell me your thoughts.


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