It’s tempting to cast blame when things go wrong.
This will not serve you well as leader. See this advice from the exceptional consultant, Alan Weiss:
Find cause and not blame. We become preoccupied in business and life with finding a scapegoat, a villain, a conspirator.
Most problems simply occur through errors of omission or commission without malice or ulterior motive. They occur because systems are imperfect, processes fail, and we’re all human.
Attempting to find blame creates fear and defensiveness and lowers the “shields” to deflect “hits.” Trying to find cause is more easily a group and collaborative effort.
But if you assume someone is out to get you, you’ll probably go to great lengths to prove you’re right and, ultimately, they will be out to get you!
I used to have a colleague who was the VP of our system group. There were a few people at senior levels who did like to find someone to blame when things went wrong, and George had a good sense of humor. So he would often go into meetings with the senior team and start by saying, “Let’s all agree it’s my fault. Now let’s move on.”
Not a bad approach at all!
By Dave Miller & John Hadley