I like playing games as much as the next person, though when it comes to playing “the blame game,” count me out. After all, where’s the fun in that? And have you noticed, despite its popularity, that the fun-makers over at Parker Brothers haven’t made the slightest of moves to trademark this one? So why are we so intent on playing, game board and player pieces aside, when it really isn’t all that much fun?
Ah yes, could it be that we get to claim victory by deflecting any personal accountability? Of course! We give that prize to someone else, a prize we would gladly claim for ourselves when everything is going well. We’re happy to step-up into the spotlight for the critical acclaim, but not for the criticism. After all, it’s much easier, and far more comfortable, to point our fingers at the other guy than it is to take it on the chin ourselves. (Ye of such little courage!)
No matter what it is you’re up to, and who may be on the journey with you, keep in mind that there’s no perfect way to move from where you are to where you want to go. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as experts in how to get there; none of us are experts. Think of yourself as a pioneer and then simply set out on your way. Accountability isn’t about finding out who screwed-up and holding them responsible. It’s about having a recovery plan in place so that you can keep moving ahead (so quickly) that it doesn’t matter.
Accountability also isn’t about perfection. It’s about having a proactive recovery plan in place which details how you’ll recover from a human error before you make the human error. Don’t focus on blame; focus on solutions. Now there’s a game worth playing. The one with the most recovery plans wins! Take that approach and you’ll know exactly what to do when an agreement is broken, a ball is dropped, a bid is lost, a client leaves, or a team breaks down.
So, put those finger-pointers away and give-up the need to make yourself look good by making your team member, family member, a friend, or a total stranger look bad. We’re all in this together, folks. It’s the game of life. (Thanks for playing!)