Raise Your Hand. Take Blame. Fast!

The difference?Blame

The difference was between an OK bonus that the senior manager would receive and the really nice bonus  they wouldn’t receive was one word: responsibility.

The recipient, my client explained, shirked from responsibility.

When something went wrong, it was usually someone else’s fault.

When it came time to put a stake in the ground, they were often last to do so.

There are roughly two organizations at opposite ends of the spectrum I encounter. One is bigger, older, slower moving and where hunkering down and avoiding blame is not such a dumb survival strategy.

The other is a quicker, often younger, smaller organization where transparency reigns and accepting responsibility is a good thing, even if it’s what feels like owning up to a mistake.

So go ahead, raise your hand. Take the blame. And move on, fast.

Life Back West is an occasional set of writings focused on ways people, teams and organizations can be both more effective (doing the right thing) and more efficient (doing the right thing well). More about executive, career and team / leadership coaching services can be found at the “About J. Mike Smith and Back West, Inc.” You can also read an online interview with me at WhoHub.


Cartoon by Gary Larsen