When something disappointing happens, there’s 2 ways to deal with it that I’ve seen. One’s successful in getting people motivated in solving the problem or making it not happen again, while the other does the exact opposite.

The first involves not placing blame, taking ownership of solving the problem, and rallying. The second involves expressing disappointment, directly or indirectly placing blame, and not taking ownership. If you’re a leader and you’re doing the first method, good job!

If you’re a leader and you’re doing the second method, no one’s going to tell you. You’re not going to learn that you’re doing it wrong. You’re just going to alienate your people and build dissent.

Think about this in the frame of a family situation. If something disappointing happens in my family and I do the second method, my wife and daughter won’t be as enthusiastic in making sure the situation doesn’t happen again. They’re just going to be pissed off at me for placing blame and saying, “It’s not my problem.” If I do the first situation, regardless of who’s to blame (the person knows who they are, placing blame doesn’t help), we all rally around finding a solution together and build our family stronger.

The second method is easy. The first is hard. There’s a reason for that: the second method is crap. Things in life that are easy are generally crap. Things in life that take some work generally are the best ones, like raising kids, having relationships, building a career, and helping others.


20 March 2013