July 30

The Problem with Blame – 3 Business Strategies to Take Ownership


Do Not Get Caught in Greece’s Trap

I have to admit… Sometimes it is kind of fun to sit down with your friends, whine, complain and have a great gripe session. There is some odd kind of picjumbo.com_HNCK7760camaraderie that we create, a community of sorts that we gain from sharing and wallowing in self-pity. But as fun as that seems, we have only to look at the crisis going on in Greece these days to realize that blame, especially in times of crisis, is nothing more than an exercise in futility.

As I watch and read daily (and I do – I am obsessed with what is going on with Greece and the Eurozone!) I am constantly reminded how blaming others for your current situation gets you nowhere, and how much personal power you give away when you lay blame outside of yourself.

You would have to be living under a rock not to know that Greece has been in great financial trouble, and has been in great need of help to meet both its current debt obligations and put its economy back on track. Yet, their vulnerable position has been kind of hard to believe, based on the way they have been acting.  Their leadership and most of their citizens have been so busy blaming others for their situation that they have lost valuable time and resources they needed to stop the suffering and get their problem solved.

Now all of this would be fine, if their blaming did anything, if it helped, if it made a difference. But that is the problem with blame…even if you are right, even if you do have a point, even if it is someone else’s fault, blaming others accomplishes absolutely nothing. Blaming others only ensures that you will be right here, in the exact same spot (or worse off) once you finish explaining why what happened to you as nothing to do with you.

Again, look at Greece. For weeks their leaders have been adamant about what they will negotiate on and what they will not, their people have been protesting and laying blame at the foot of all of Europe for the hard times they are facing, and experts have plenty to say about the “help” Greece got from other European countries in creating this situation. Yet, after weeks of pouring time, energy and resources into anger and blame, Greece is no further along in creating a real solution to their problems, their citizens are suffering more, their ability to borrow money is gone, and their global reputation is rapidly declining.

Now, understand I am not out to “slam” Greece. Who am I to talk? I love blaming other people for my problems. I just want to draw attention to it, because as business leaders and employers there is so, so much to be gained from the lesson. So how do we keep from turning our organizations, our cultures into a mini-Greece?

3 Strategies to Ensure You Don’t Get Caught In Greece’s Trap:

  1. Look Inward – start here. When something goes wrong or off track in your business, first look inward. If you really want to solve a problem, you have to begin by understanding your role and how you got there. Look at the problem from a different perspective, and see what role you played in it, and what you can to do begin to turn the tide.  Greece may have had help, plenty of it actually, getting into the mess they are in today, but no one forced them, they played their role. Blaming others or expecting them to clean up the mess is a waste of time and energy. And time and energy are two valuable resources you will need in your business to turn problems into opportunities.
  1. Focus – take a long hard look at the problem, and choose where to focus. The only true way to turn a problem into an opportunity is to focus on what you can control, focus on doing the hard work, and making the tough decisions. You must reform the things that you have control over, and be willing to suffer the pain it takes to make them right. Your business only has room to gain from you taking a hard look at how to move forward. Greece has spent way too much time talking about and trying to fix things that they cannot fix or that have little impact. No matter how much they beg or plead, their debt will not be forgiven, and their restructure will be far more difficult to meet than they would like. Instead they need to focus on finding the answers and solutions that they have control over and that will work to put their economy back on track.
  1. Take Action – At some point you have to quit talking and start walking. So much of Greece’s problem is that, understandably, they do not want to make the changes they need to make, whether or not they stayed or left the Eurozone. But the only way to get out of the mess you are in, especially in business, is to, well get out of it. Greece needs to put a plan in place, one that deals with and focuses on action, taking the steps, leading the way, and helping the Greek people see there is light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what the decision, taking steps, working a plan, and taking action is the only real way to solve a problem and get back on track.

So yes, life would be more fun if we could take all the credit for the good things in our life, and pass on the blame to others. In life and in business, however, there is just one problem with blame – it doesn’t work!

Motivational Keynote Speaker & Business Growth Expert, Meridith Elliott Powell, works with clients to help them instill ownership at every level to ensure profits at every turn. Click here for 3 Sure Fire Tips To Get Your Team To Instill Ownership At Every Level, To Get Profits At Every Turn! Meridith is the author of several books, including her latest, Winning In The Trust & Value Economy: a professional’s guide to business and sales success. When not keynoting and leading workshops, she looks for inspiration cycling, golfing or hiking her favorite trail.http://meridithelliottpowell.com


Meridith Elliott Powell

Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, highly engaging corporate motivational keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell delivers a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. Meridith’s presentations are full of powerful content, highly interactive, and fun. She helps her clients learn the leadership development, sales and business growth strategies to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

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