12 August 2008

Leadership and blame

In leadership and blame you find three kinds. First there is the guilt of the leader, default part of his position. The guilt as part of his responsibility as highest in rank. Second there is the guilt of the leader as part of the outcome of his decisions. The leader who makes a choice that can or endangers his fellow group members. Third there is the guilt of the groupmember. The blame as part of the group members responsibility for his behavior.

The first guilt comes from the third kind. The leader is also guilty, as he is also responsible for what others in his group do.

The second guilt is not so interesting. A leader is human and wil make mistakes. It can only be hoped for, that he will learn from his mistakes. And that these lessons will result in better choices in the future. But this guilt is no different from the guilt of an employee, responsible for his actions. The only difference is that a leader has no one above him to assign blame.

And that is what it is all about when it comes to guilt. Of what use is blaming someone? In most cases blaming, leads to flight behavior. The blamed person tries to find external reasons to proof his innocence. The famous excuse: "The dog ate my homework." A pity you do not have a dog. Or the person blamed, will try to spread the blame thin. "I was not the only one, who did this job." Or "I was giving the wrong information by him and him." Or "The client constantly changed his goals and wishes." Or even better: "It was not me, they would do that and so I could not do this." The "Everybody, somebody, anybody, nobody" story is very recognizable.

But is it useful to assign blame, if everybody tries to find an excuse?

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