Remember the old grade school story—“the dog ate my homework”.  I wish I had one of those dogs.  There were a number of times when I showed up with homework undone.  Unfortunately our yard dogs preferred dog food to paper.  I could count on them for a lot, but I couldn’t count on them to eat my homework no matter how hard I tried.  And they were especially ineffective if my homework were not even present for them to munch on.

I forget who it was but I know he was right when he said “we are only a failure when we blame others for our own lack of success”.  I think what he was getting at is that when we point to outside reasons for our inability to get the job done,… then we really are the loser.

Here are some scenarios, followed by some accountability.

1.  I was so busy that…or ratherI’m sorry, I should have managed my priorities better.

2.  The team couldn’t get it all done…or rather…I’m sorry, I should have paid better attention to the progress we were/weren’t making and let you know about the slow downs.

3.  I meant to call you but I figured you wouldn’t get it til today anyway…or rather…I apologize I should have at least texted you or left a message about the change in plans.

4.  The market really tanked and we were caught looking…or rather…I did the best I could but I honestly did not see things changing before it was too late and for that I am truly sorry.

Go on and formulate other scenarios.  But the point is, when we take responsibility for what we are involved with, it brings power and energy to the busted situation.  Often we are not the cause but we do need to own our piece in situations.

I had a situation the other day.  A colleague came to me to apologize for his behaviour.  He admitted he was just a “jerk” in a particular situation and for that he was truly sorry.  The truth is, he was a jerk.  But he wasn’t the only one.  I had been one too.  We shook hands and looked each other in the eye.  I could have said nothing and let him wear his issues.  Or, I could be an adult too and hold myself accountable too.  I nodded and asked him to forgive me for my slowness and dimness in the situation.  I was part of the problem too…not just him.

We need to hold ourselves accountable…