My step-mom sent me this email:
Subject Line: Blame
How the world works lately…
If a man cuts his finger off while
Slicing salami at work,
He blames the restaurant
If you smoke three packs a day
For 40 years and die of lung cancer,
Your family blames the
If your neighbour crashes
Into a tree while driving home drunk,
He blames the bartender.
If your grandchildren are
Brats without manners,
You blame television.
If your friend is shot by a
You blame the gun manufacturer..
And if a crazed person breaks
Into the cockpit and
Tries to kill the pilot at 35,000 feet,
And the passengers
Kill him instead,
The mother of the crazed deceased
Blames the airline.
I must have lived too long to
Understand the world
As it is anymore.
So, if I die while my OLD WRINKLED ASS
is parked in front of this COMPUTER,
I want all of you to blame Bill Gates.
Last paragraph aside, this actually made me think a bit. It’s true. If any action anyone takes doesn’t turn out how it was planned, the blame gets placed on something or someone else. “Well, it was their idea, “the tool malfunctioned,” “it was a Facebook bug,” “that man was an asshole.”
Whatever happened to holding yourself accountable?
Whatever happened to taking pride in your work? To owning it. The good and the bad.
We don’t always have the best ideas. And sometimes, when we test them out, they fall flat. But instead of picking ourselves up and learning from the mistakes we made, we blame something else. It wasn’t our idea that didn’t work. No, it couldn’t possibly be my mistake.
I’ve been interviewing a lot of candidates for a role on my Community Engagement team. One of the top questions these candidates ask (and good for them!) is, “How would you describe your management style.”
I rely on my team to be self-accountable. They know what they need to do, and if they don’t they ask. Then, I hold them to doing it on their own. I help, of course, but they are responsible for accomplishing their own goals. I enable. I empower. But it is up to them to be successful. And they are. If they’re not, if they make a mistake, we talk about it, learn from it, and move on.
I hold myself accountable for just as much — my actions and choices, my responsibilities, and my goals. It’s up to me to achieve them. I’ll lean on others for advice or encouragement, but ultimately, I am responsible — accountable — for myself.
It’s all about choices. If you choose to smoke three packs a day, it’s no one’s fault but your own if you die from lung cancer. If your grandchildren are brats with no manners, do something about it. And if I die while my OLD WRINKLED ASS is parked in front of this COMPUTER, it’s because I wasn’t out living, not because of Bill Gates (or Steve Jobs, thanks DAD).