When life doesn’t work the way we like, most of us have been conditioned to blame something outside of ourselves. It is all part of the universal blame game that happens every single day.
- Coaches blame players and players blame coaches.
- Teachers blame students and students blame teachers.
- Employees blame bosses and bosses blame employees.
The ongoing blame game exists everywhere.
Without realizing it, we may blame our parents, friends, or spouse. We sometimes blame our bosses, coworkers, or clients. We might even blame the weather or the economy—basically anything and anyone we can blame for not doing and/or achieving what we desire. Seldom do we discover where the real problem lies—with ourselves; the man in the mirror.
The truth—is that we are all 100% responsible for the quality of our own life.
Taking responsibility requires self-awareness. It requires discipline. It requires leadership—yours!
Let me tell you a short story: A senior leader I used to manage came into my office one day to complain that his team couldn’t meet their goals. He blamed me for not giving him everything he needed to be successful. For about twenty minutes he proceeded to tell me everything that was preventing his team’s success, in particular my lack of funding to hire more people and a fellow co-worker who wasn’t getting back to him in a timely manner. When he finished, I reminded him that he was in charge of his business unit. I then asked him a simple question: “Would your approach change if I was an investor incubating your company and your fellow employees were clients?”
Without hesitation, he responded with a series of “Yeah buts…” I smiled and said, “Just imagine if I was an investor and your fellow employees were clients, what would you do differently?”
He then went on to describe that he would present me with a business plan and ROI model for the additional funding he was looking for in order to hire more people. He also shared some creative ideas in how to get his co-worker to respond to his request, much like an illusive client who doesn’t always reply to emails.
Key take-away: Our individual ability to consciously respond to the external situations and circumstances we encounter ultimately determine the experiences we have.
What if you treated your boss like an investor and your co-workers like clients?
I bet the individual experiences you have with them would change drastically.