Instead of Assigning Blame, Fix What Went Wrong

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 3, 2009

No one wants to be associated with a failure, and leaders are no exception. When something goes awry, it can be tempting to point the finger—especially if you feel certain of the cause and justified in making someone accountable. Yet blame never results in a solution. Instead, it tends to snowball, wasting much time and energy that is better suited for problem-solving. Focus others on finding solutions that generate progress, and you demonstrate true accountability—and that’s leadership at its best.

To coach yourself, prepare answers to the following questions:

1. How do I handle assigning credit and blame?

2. When I blame, do I tend to find solutions?

3. How can I reframe any impulse to blame into "lessons learned" and more effective actions going forward?

David Peck
Executive Coach and President
Leadership Unleashed
Palm Springs, Calif.

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