There are a lot of really good reasons you are not as successful as you could be. In your business. In your job. In your life.
Let’s be honest with each other, you are pretty awesome. There is nothing you can’t do, and if others would just get out of your way or stop being incompetent, you could achieve greatness.
So chances are someone else is to blame.
There Is Proof: It Really Is Their Fault
Your Crappy Boss
A bad boss is the scourge of employees everywhere; in fact it is one of the top reasons for employee turnover. Who hasn’t had a bad boss or three? There are dictators, micro-managers, credit stealing thieves, politicians, and bosses that got promoted one or two levels too high.
They have the nerve to point out flaws and try to hold you accountable. If it wasn’t for you they would have been let go long ago. You hold the whole company or department together.
If you are not happy at work or not able to succeed chances are your boss is to blame.
So you might as well make that public. Tell your friends, family and even select coworkers.
Your Slacking, Backstabbing Coworkers
Hey, some of them are pretty nice people, but they just can’t do their jobs right. They are overly optimistic or pessimistic, never help you out when you need it, or are out to make you look bad in front of others.
The best thing to do is start making notes on who is holding you back so if you ever get cornered you will have the proof that your coworkers are to blame.
Just to be safe you should spread that around a bit; it never hurts to set the stage to protect yourself for later.
Your Incompetent Employees
If things go well, chances are you played a major role in that. You need to make sure that you get the recognition you deserve.
When projects don’t go right it is probably because your employees didn’t listen or follow instructions. They are slackers, incompetent, spending all their time on social media or just plain lazy.
Business and work are ruthless. If you fail in business or as a leader, chances are, your employees are to blame. You might as well make sure your boss and everyone on the team knows who is holding you back.
Your Inept Clients
Why do you get stuck serving inept clients? They are needy and suck all your time. You have better things to do. If it wasn’t for clients you could get things done.
You had a contract to provide them with services. They aren’t happy because they are not getting the results they expected. But it isn’t really your fault, it is theirs.
They didn’t provide you with something, they don’t know what they are doing, they get confused easily when you explain things to them, or they can’t even do the basics right.
If your clients aren’t happy with your products or services, chances are they are to blame. It is best to share that publicly to avoid those negative reviews and pre-empt the bad publicity.
Let’s Face It, You Are Being Held Back By THEM!
You are awesome. If you are not succeeding chances are, it because of someone else’s incompetence or inabilities.
If only they were… more like you. Perfect.
Who Are You Throwing Under The Bus?
You know I wasn’t serious about all that blame stuff, right? Throwing everyone under the bus, being a critic, and blaming other people is easy, you don’t need me to tell you how to do it.
But it isn’t everyone else you’re throwing under the bus.
In reality, it’s you.
By blaming other people, you are missing a huge opportunity to actually get better and do the work that really matters.
You are building and encouraging a culture of blame instead of creating a culture of teamwork and success. Whether you are an employee, the boss or a business leader; you are setting the tone and encouraging people to blame each other instead of figuring out how to be better.
It also comes back to haunt you. Let’s not forget that blame and gossip spread faster than ever. You bad-mouth a client in the morning and they find out about it in the afternoon. It is making the rounds of Facebook or Twitter.
Shift your attitude away from blame and your results will change. Hold yourself to higher standard.
Most managers and leaders today are very busy. The layers of management have shrunk. They are looking for people who are coachable and most importantly, who take responsibility and hold themselves accountable for results. Before you take over the next role, you need to be able to shine at your current role; that is what you were hired for. Once you do that well, then look for opportunities to stretch. Nothing turns off a boss more than an employee who can’t be trusted to do what they were hired to do asking for a promotion or greater responsibilities.
The thing people miss is that to be a great leader, you need to be a great follower.
Something I learned a long time ago is that bosses have bosses. Even business owners work for their clients. If you make them look better by being competent and supportive, then they will eventually reciprocate.
In most cases, you can do a lot to make the relationship work as well. If you have a micromanaging boss, ask what it would take for you to do to earn their trust. Chances are they don’t actually want to manage that way and giving them a graceful out grows both of you.
Yes, there are actually a few really dysfunctional bosses. If it is really them you need to move on.
By building a good and supportive working relationship with your coworkers, they will be willing to go the extra mile for you when you really need it. The key is be there to help them succeed, competent and a good member of the team consistently when you don’t need anything.
If you are a small business owner or leader, chances are that you were the one who hired them or made the decision to keep them. It is your job to make sure that they have the tools and talents to succeed in their roles.
Your job is to set your team up for success and lead by setting the example.
I have always believed that we take external fault as a group and never throw anyone under the bus. The team then knows that if something goes wrong, you and everyone else will be there for them. They are more likely to come for help sooner.
If a person is not likely to succeed in a role you have to look at attitude and ability. If attitude is wrong there is nothing you can do. If ability is wrong you can train, mentor or reassign if appropriate.
Yes clients have faults. Some of them are such a bad fit that they are just not profitable. If that’s the case you need to do a better job of selecting them. If they’ve changed from a good client to a non-profitable client you have to be willing to fix the relationship or let them go and replace them with better matches. The key is to know what a good client looks like.
But it is dangerous to blame your clients. Clients are paying you to make them look good or be good or feel good. Figure out how to add value to them and you will have lots of well-paying work.
Right now or at some time in the future you may be the boss, the co-worker, the employee, or the client.
What will others say about you? Will they throw you under the bus?
The only thing you can truly control in life is yourself. You can’t really control others. You can only impact and influence others.
You can lead by example whether you are the leader in title or not. Reach your full potential. Never throw others (ultimately yourself) under the bus.
Photo: Flickr/Gabe Austin