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5. Blaming Others or Circumstances

Ray Vella

5. Blaming Others or Circumstances


The symptoms: Always having a reason, excuse, or explanation ("Yeah, but…"); pointing the finger at others; treating others as the enemy or opposition; building silos rather than supporting enterprise perspective; criticizing and complaining; invalidating ideas and people.

Why it's damaging: Leaders who blame others are perceived as petty, small, and divisive. They polarize the organization and divide people into camps. To avoid being caught in the line of fire, people stay below the radar and wait and see rather than take action.

What to do: Stop pointing out what others did not do, what they should have done, and how ineffective they are. Ask yourself: How has my behavior contributed to this problem or breakdown? Take accountability publicly by owning your role in the problem. Fix yourself, not others.