The Blame Game
Rabbi Stephen Baars is always one of my favorite presenters at business conferences. He doesn’t take the stage for long, but he always makes an impact.
Ooh, here we go, he’s going to lift us up!
He leads with the notion humans are born with no innate skills. Thank you? Hmmm...I guess he doesn’t know you and me very well, does he?
He goes on to say that what we all do well is mess up. Big time. OK, well, there’s that.
What do we do when we mess up? We blame each other, traffic, full moon, lack of sleep, Daddy issues, etc. You’re with me.
“The worst word in the English language is blame. Blaming causes resentment. We can either be resentful or creative but we can’t be both. When we blame, we are not able to solve problems at the workplace or in our personal lives.”
Take this into our world of executing our business strategy. Humans are going to mess up and, at any one time, we should see an accurate reflection of reality with Rhythm dashboards sprinkled with Yellows and Red status items. This tells us the culture is healthy enough to call out for clarity or help.
To cultivate a healthy culture, it’s not the person who is Yellow or Red, it’s the Priority or KPI. If we play the blame game, the real work of solving the problem cannot happen. Engage the creative minds of the team by ensuring a safe place to bring forth problems daily and weekly.
The Rabbi ended with a challenge to not blame anything or anyone for 24 hours. Oh no! I’m flying within 24 hours, can I push the timeline back?
I took his advice in my personal life as well and have noticed how often I throw in an excuse when there isn’t one or, shift blame to the traffic when I really couldn’t find my shoe that my retriever was carrying around all morning. See? Now I’m blaming her. I didn’t put up my shoe to prevent her from carrying it in her mouth in the first place! It’s harder than you think but, the result was a consciously executed solution to my shoe dropping habit.
I wish I could put Rabbi Baars in my pocket and take him out when I need some sense knocked into me.
If you missed my blog on the Rabbi giving me an attitude adjustment, well, give it a read but, don’t blame me if you’re late to your next meeting. You have 24 blameless hours ahead of you.