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How To Stop Blaming Others and Own Your Mistakes

It is human nature to blame someone else when things don't work. Blaming others or circumstances leaves people feeling helpless and like a victim. Essentially you give away your power. Taking ownership of your choices allows you to make corrections, when necessary, rather than generate excuses that tend to keep you stuck.

When reflecting, take an honest look at your part in a conflict. Own your contribution. Ask yourself how you could have contributed to a better outcome.

Owning your mistakes may be a new habit for you, but it is a necessary step toward empowering yourself and your entire team. Here are some ways to get more comfortable at taking responsibility for your part in any conflict:

  • Embrace Vulnerability: In the world of executive leadership, vulnerability can often be perceived as a weakness. However, it is precisely in moments of vulnerability that genuine growth occurs. Brené Brown, creator of the Dare to Lead™️ program, emphasizes the importance of embracing vulnerability, and this applies to owning your mistakes as well. When you admit your errors and take responsibility, you demonstrate authenticity and courage. It's a powerful step towards building trust with your team and colleagues. Remember that even the most successful individuals have made mistakes; it's how you handle them that truly matters.

  • Learn from Your Mistakes: John Townsend, co-author of Boundaries, and creator of the Townsend Leadership Program, encourages continuous self-improvement and personal growth. When you own your mistakes, it's an opportunity to learn from them. Analyze what went wrong and why, and use this knowledge to make better decisions in the future. Share these insights with your team or peers to create a culture of learning and improvement. By turning your mistakes into valuable lessons, you not only grow as an executive but also inspire others to do the same.

  • Create a Strategy for Accountability: Owning your mistakes is a proactive first step, but it's essential to create a strategy for accountability. This means setting up a system where you, your team, or your peers can hold you responsible for your actions and decisions. It could involve regular check-ins, performance evaluations, or open discussions about mistakes and their resolutions. By having a structured approach to accountability, you ensure continued progress in owning your mistakes and growing from them.

As the former vice-president of a family owned, multi- generational grease and industrial lubricant manufacturing business, I've had to personally grapple with conflicts, responsibility, accountability, group dynamics and the importance of having well-oiled systems in place. Having a challenge? Let's chat.

Prefer to grow on your own?

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