One Question that improves Millennials Responsibility Factor – Part 1
Accountability, coupled with a resolve to finding creative solutions, yields character. ~ Danita Bye
Have you ever been in a position where you have invested a lot of time and energy in something that didn’t work?
Were you also frustrated when you realized you could have used all that creative energy and time towards something that really ignited your passion? I’ve been there…
Here’s an excerpt from Millennials Matter (my soon-to-be released book) dealing with this subject.
Accountability: A tool To Eliminate Blame-Game Toxicity
Phrases like, “It’s his/her fault,” or “It’s the other department’s fault,” or “It’s the client’s fault,” or “It’s the competitors fault,” do not go very far with me. Nor with any other experienced leader I know. In the blame-game culture that’s rampant in America, we need to go the extra mile to help minimize or eliminate this kind of language from our future leaders.
In my work, I help company presidents and CEO’s improve their sales teams’ productivity. It is not uncommon for me to step in a help them deal with blame-gaming toxicity. It is like a cancer. The list of whom or what to blame is endless. I hear about the uncooperative economy, the tight marketplace, the stiff competition, and the bad boss. I also hear internal blame directed at the marketing department, the production team, or even the dog! I’m certain you have heard your share of creative excuses as well.
Our challenge is to guide young Millennial leaders to accept personal responsibility. In so doing, they tap their creative brilliance to solve problems and tackle seemingly impossible tasks.
Salespeople who are accountable will ask, “What might I do to help solve the problem?” Questions like this over time create a positive, energizing culture and a very productive team.
Now here’s an excerpt from my book Leadership Shift: Paradoxical Wisdom for Today’s Leaders dealing with the same subject.
Accepting responsibility vs. playing the blame game
In 1997, my husband and I were living in Minnesota. We purchased Trail/Rider, a snowmobile ride-behind-sleigh manufacturing business – trust me, in Minnesota this makes sense. The same year also marked the reappearance of El Niño, which meant no snow. Difficult when you’re in a snow related business. And how long did this no-snow situation last? Longer than my patience with this business, that’s for sure. Apart from blaming the weather for our lack-luster sales, I also blamed my husband for using his considerable charm to get me into this Trail/Rider business in the first place. Even though we were financial business partners in this venture, I was the one running it. I even faulted God for his part in this mess – after all, who makes it snow?
For three years, I played the blame game. For three years, the financial statements got worse and worse. Then, I read an eye-opening book on personal responsibility and accountability. I realized that my obsessive focus on the past and present was keeping me from seeing the future – and some rather obvious solutions to be found there, such as selling the business.
I decided to stop playing the blame game and start focusing on the way ahead, which, for us, was selling the business to someone with more passion for the industry. Still, because of past experiences, I worried the business wouldn’t sell. Because of present conditions, I was concerned we’d lose money on the deal, even if we could sell. Then, because I put responsibility for past and present results where it belonged – on my shoulders – I was free to let go of the blame that obscured my options. I was free to focus on the future. Amazingly, the business sold in only six weeks.
Yes, the time for playing the blame game is over – don’t accept it. Mentor your salespeople not to use that excuse but to rather accept responsibility. Next week I’m going to drill down more specifically into Millennials and Accountability.
Leadership Lesson: Mentor young leaders to accept responsibility vs playing the blame-game.
© Copyright Danita Bye, 2017