Question of the Month: When something goes wrong, surely it’s very important – and part of the accountability process – to find out who is to blame, and then to correctly blame that person?
Answer: For many of us the first thing we want to do when something goes wrong is blame someone, to know whose fault it is. Blame is really discharging of discomfort and pain and it has an inverse relationship with accountability.
Those who blame a lot seldom have the tenacity and courage to actually hold people accountable.
Of course it is important to find out why something went wrong – a correct diagnosis allows the appropriate medicine to be applied.
There are only ever three whys: a “means” why (provide the means), an “ability” why (trainer/coach), or an “accountability” why (hold the person accountable for their carelessness or deliberate malevolence).
Blaming others is one of the distinctive characteristics of a victim. Part of the leader’s job is to deal with victims wherever they are and whenever they arise. Legitimate Leadership has developed a powerful tool for leaders to deal with victims called the Gripe to Goal process (refer to the book Legitimate Leadership (2012), pages 216-231).