Culture of Blame: Opportunity

9 Jun


Last week we discussed the effects of a culture of blame.  This week let’s look at the opportunities in a culture of blame.

If you are a manager, it’s a great event when you move into a new job and follow a bad act.  This creates an opportunity for you to be a capable, reasonable manager – employees will love the contrast.  Suppose your predecessor was a blame-placer, what should you do?

First, visit with your direct reports one-on-one. Drive the visit with questions.  Scroll to page 9.  First ask about them, then their jobs, then the organization and finally what they suggest you do?  Listen, make notes and don’t blather.  This will build a pattern of conversation and inquiry; it will give you a sense of the organization and build impressions of key people.

Then, working through your managers, if you have any, develop a set of your expectations for the behavior of all staff and use these as guidelines on how to function.  One of these should be “solve problems, don’t place blame.”  You can use various means to distribute and discuss these but start with meetings.

Blame-placers run terrible meetings.  Flip-flop this dysfunctional style by developing ground-rules for your meetings such as:  show respect, practice courtesy; start on time stay on task, end on time; and SOLVE PROBLEMS, DON’T PLACE BLAME.  Then live by them and expect your managers, if you have any, to do so also.

Don’t underestimate the power of effective meetings. I once worked with an executive who used effective meetings to change the culture of a company.

For a lot more on this topic check out Beyond Luck.

Setting up the RSS Feed

Several people have asked how to set up a RSS (really simple syndication) to make Managers Into Leaders appear in their email automatically every week.  To do so:

Go to RSS Feed on the right hand column of this page

Click on RSS-Posts

Subscribe to the feed by clicking on subscribe

Make sure the drop down window is correct and click

Every Wednesday I will be in your email. Take 3 minutes and read.

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2 Responses to “Culture of Blame: Opportunity”

  1. Margie Harvey June 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Great blog topic, John! And thank you so much for the simple sign-up instructions 🙂

    • jlanghorne1 June 10, 2010 at 3:17 am #

      Please send the link to colleagues who may be interested – jl

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