There are no Victims in the successful workplace.
We’ve all done it. We’ve all tried to find excuses for poor results. Blame it on the weather, the economy, politics, the competition, the boss, the company, the product, your colleagues, anything…
As long as we don’t have to take the responsibility. It is too easy to do. When we blame something or somebody else for what happens to us we become a victim and being a victim is easy. When you are a victim you do not have to worry about taking responsibility.
This afternoon I was chatting to a sales manager who works in an outlying area. He was telling me that his results had not been so good recently because of the economy. “You know,” he said with a knowing smile, “the exchange rate…” As if I was supposed to accept the impossibility of selling in these adverse conditions.
How often have I heard that over the last few years?
The rate goes up.“We can’t sell because of the high price of imports.”
Then the rate goes down. “We can’t sell because our customers can buy it cheaper from Japan.”
Victims are not restricted to the sales department.
“My report is late boss because the printer has broken down.”
It’s not my fault, it’s the printer.
“I was late for work this morning because the traffic was heavy.”
It’s not my fault, it’s the traffic.
“I didn’t get promotion because John wanted an older person (younger person / lady / man / whatever) for the position”
It’s not my fault, it’s John’s.
When we can blame someone or something else for the problem we are not responsible which makes us more comfortable. The problem is that as soon as we give away responsibility in that way we are giving away our ability to respond. That’s what responsibility means, our ability to fix it.
When you say “I am late because the traffic was too heavy”, you are saying that whether you get to work on time or not is entirely dependent on the number of cars on the road today. You are not in control. You are a victim.
Successful people know that there are no successful victims, and this starts by taking responsibility.
“My report was late because I was cutting it too fine”. If you had finished your report a day earlier you could have taken it to any computer to have it printed.
It’s my fault.