Archive for June, 2013

Building a High Performance Culture Part II

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Words that Hurt: Fault, Blame & Excuse

In my last post I described how, according to customers, one of the most useful aspects of my Up Your Business 2.0 Super Leadership Workshop is when I have attendees create two columns and write “Strong Cultural Words to Weave In” on one side of the page and “Weak Cultural Words to Weed Out” on the other side. Over the course of the seminar I add to the list to create a blueprint of the mindsets, values, attitudes and behaviors you must embed in a great culture, as well as the destructive mindsets, values, attitudes and behaviors you must remove. Following are three words that devastate results, yet still dominate business cultures where team members, starting with leaders, fail to accept personal responsibility for their actions and results.

Weak cultural words to weave out: Fault, Blame, Excuse.

Fault: Responsibility for failure.

To use in a sentence: It’s not my fault I had a bad month. In other words, I’m a victim.

Blame: To assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

To use both in a sentence: It’s not my fault I had a bad month. I blame the weather, the economy, the manufacturer, the time of year, the inventory, the advertising, the incompetents I work with, the competition is giving their product away, and I’ve never been able to get in touch with my inner something-or-another, etc.

Undoubtedly, if someone of this nature were to accept responsibility for his poor month he would probably have to confess some of the following: I had a bad month because I’m lazy, don’t control my attitude, lack discipline, fail to plan, prepare, prospect, practice, follow up, ask for referrals or learn more about selling.

Sadly, purveyors of blame fail to realize that it is the anti-focus and strips them of personal power as they focus their attention on things they cannot affect and ignore those they can. When they make excuses they demonstrate the DNA of underachievers.

Fault, blame and failure: this trio of cultural travesties tie together to create a pathetic progression of palaver designed to remove the burden of success from one’s shoulders: “it’s not my fault, so I must blame someone or something else and then create an excuse to explain why”. Fault, blame and excuses create cultural decay. If they pervade your culture, it’s the leadership’s fault, they are to blame, and have no excuse for permitting their existence.