Exceptional Leaders Don’t Play the “Blame” Game

In the world of business where accountability, integrity and personal responsibility are highly regarded qualities in an exceptional leader, I have one question? What’s with all the blaming and finger pointing? I have worked with so many leaders and one of my biggest pet peeves is a whiny leader who thinks everyone else is to blame.

So here’s the thing… Finding fault is easy. Blaming others for mistakes or failures takes no brilliance or innovation at all. But exceptional leaders don’t play the blame game, they understand they are at the helm and anything that happens on their watch is their responsibility whether they like it or not. Exceptional leaders know that to move their companies forward, they must apply a lessons learned approach and use failures as coaching moments for improvement.


Because real leaders, those that are truly exceptional won’t waste energy on blaming others, they won’t accept credit for successes and when failure does happen, they claim responsibility.

The bottom line… Rather than spending energy trying to blame others, focus your energy on the future and look for what you would have done differently if conditions were in your favor. Focusing on negative events can be traumatic to the people around you and redeploy everyone’s focus away from moving your business forward.

I am often asked why some leaders struggle with this concept and spend more of their time and energy on the blame game and I’ve concluded it usually comes down to lack of courage. It takes a courageous man or women to stand in front of employees and admit failure. It takes humility and a realness that many just don’t possess. How can you identify one of these leaders – they are usually doing a lot of talking and not enough listening, they start pointing fingers right away and thrive in drama.

We have all witnessed leaders who are inadequate and believe that deflecting the issue by using the blame game is the most effective way to draw attention off them, but the reality is, the quickest way to make an issue go away is to own it and then do everything in your power to fix it.

Tell me about a blame game your leader has played in the comments below.