Who is to Blame?

Accountability Growth mindset Personal leadership


Key Point: The headline on CNN news on Friday evening, Mar. 24 was: “Who is to Blame?” This was a reference to the disappointing outcome (per the Republican Congress and Trump Administration) that day, when the health care repeal and replace bill, now known by many as  “Trumpcare,” did not even get a vote in congress. This is NOT intended to be a political statement, however I clearly intend it to be a leadership comment.

Note President Trump’s tweets and/or comments referring to the health care fiasco, where he searches for someone else is to blame: We left it “all on the field,” so don’t blame us. It was the Freedom Caucus, the Democrats, Paul Ryan, others? Not me, your president! It seems that it is always someone else who is at fault with Trump. Actually, the pattern of finding blame seems to be a growing theme in today’s world. The disturbing aspect of this is that I strongly believe ALL blame is WASTE. Yes, of course all involved should ask themselves questions: “Why we’re we not able to meet our objectives?” “What did we learn from an honest assessment of failure?” “How could we have done it better?” “Where do we go from here to become successful?” Etc.  Blaming others and finding fault does little if any good at all, other than feeding egos by putting down others and deflecting responsibility. It doesn’t move anything forward. In fact, finding blame slows us down and serves as a forum for metering out punishment rather that finding progress. (Of course I’m not referring to criminal matters or the due process of law, which ideally has an appropriate and just framework for finding fault).

Note the late, great Dr. Wayne Dyer on the subject matter of blame: 

“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with

another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change

you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you

are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or

frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about

something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it

is about you that is making you unhappy. ”

Great leaders at a local or global level invest zero time on blame. However, they spend laser-focused time on determining what went wrong and how to fix it. These enlightened leaders understand that everything is a process and subsequently every process can be improved. Yes… Attacking a process… Challenging the specifics of poor behavior is necessary.  But, if you attack and blame the personal essence of another, it will deter progress. People do not like to be blamed or attacked and most will fight back vigorously.

Character Moves:

  1. Be on the hunt to expunge the act of blaming, including and perhaps most importantly, self blame. Remember ALL blame is waste. We do not move anything forward with blame. 
  1. Be fierce attacking ineffective processes, unacceptable behavior, and/or situations. Do not make it a personal matter. Never attack based on assuming or judging the integrity of another. Be objective and precise in pointing out the actual specifics of what people do, don’t do, say or not say. Be curious and ask “why?” We are usually grateful for doing so.
  1. Be wary of people or organizations that promote finding blame. Their uninformed intent is often to avoid self-accountability. And that does little to promote meaningful forward movement. Remember that when something goes wrong, the most important question is: “What could I have done to make it better? What will I do to advance matters from here?”

No blame in The Triangle 


One Millennial View: I agree that blame is pretty much useless. I can’t pretend I have a clue what it’s like to be the President of the United States, or how to navigate the enormous stress that comes with a below 40 percent approval rating from 318 million citizens, but focusing on blame instead of improvement likely isn’t going to help raise that statistic.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis