The “Not My Fault” Epidemic Is Real

January 20, 2017By
Pointing Out Window

Do you play the blame game too often?

There’s a new country song called It Ain’t My Fault by Brothers Osborne [video].

The duo have kind of went on a little run in country music and this next single sounds like another hit.

It’s catchy. It’s snappy. It’s something people are already singing along with. It’s a little different and funky.

But the lyrics kind of bother me a bit.

I’m probably reading too much into it. It’s probably just a song about life and maybe it’s kind of tongue-in-cheek, but on any level it kind of makes me think about something I notice in many aspects of life.

The “Not My Fault” Epidemic

I got an email from a colleague some time ago that kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I think I had been following up on something trying to get some information or trying to get the person to take action.

Eventually the person did take action, but they made sure to add:

I was given the wrong information.

Passing the blame.

Now, it’s probably 100% true that the person had been given the wrong information. But is it really a good look to throw someone else under the bus?

I don’t see it often, which is nice, but I do see it sometimes. And I’m sure that I do it sometimes, but I do try to make it a habit to not pass the buck or the blame.

I try to live by looking at life as if it’s never the other person’s fault. It’s not easy, but I think that’s the way to do it.

People Don’t Care

In the business world and really in life it’s pretty rare for someone to really care who’s fault it was when something goes wrong.

The best businesspeople know that things will happen. They’re always looking forward. In the middle of a crisis or whatever they want to find a resolution. That’s all they care about.

In the aftermath, they’ll look at the issue and look for a systematic breakdown. They’ll look for a way to make sure that the issue won’t come around again.

And sometimes it will come down to being a personnel issue and changes may need to happen.

But when it comes to fault, people don’t really care. The ones that do care is when they feel like others care about fault.

I got back to the email that I received where the person said they received some wrong information.

I didn’t care. All I cared about was getting something resolved. And if we had continued working together I would have been curious about the issue and maybe would have asked about making sure the issue wouldn’t come up in the future. I hopefully would have remembered to ask if there was something I could do differently to make things easier.

Focus On What You Control

Blaming others or trying to avoid blame is a challenging way to go through life. If you’re always looking at avoiding blame I really think you’re going to struggle with many things in life.

Research shows that it’s easier to blame others than it is to accept responsibility. And that’s big in the business world because entrepreneurs and managers need to accept responsibility.

The best entrepreneurs I know are the ones that see themselves as imperfect. They’re looking for ways to improve. They know that they have faults. They know that they make mistakes and they’re always looking to make themselves better.

If you get stuck in the blame game you’ll likely stay in the same place. You’ll take the safe route as you look to avoid fault and mistakes. That’s no way to go through business. It’s good to avoid risky ventures, but if you’re unwilling to try new things and if you’re unwilling to improve yourself then others will and you’ll fall behind.

When something negative happens in life or in business look at what you control. Don’t worry about others. Look at the role you played in the situation and how you can improve so that things are better in the future.

It’s not an easy thing, but it’s an important thing for being a success.