Have you ever been the victim of a crime or other
uncontrollable situation that caused you physical or monetary harm? If
you have, you understand the feeling of having no control and being
forced into a situation in which you do not desire. If you were the
victim of a crime, there is likely nothing you could have done to
prevent the criminal from carrying out their act. You were truly a
victim and I truly hope you have worked through the challenges you
Now let’s talk business. Have you ever been in a business
situation where you ended up taking the heat for a problem that wasn’t
your fault? Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? Have
you missed your goals or deadlines due to decisions or actions made by
others? Have technology problems caused you to look bad? If so, you
likely felt very similar to the victim of a crime. You were a victim.
It wasn’t your fault. It was someone else’s problem. It was the
computers fault. It was the software. Wrong. It was your fault. Are you
still reading this? I hope so.
There are no victims in business.
All actions and outcomes are controlled by you. Throughout my career, I
have worked with, managed and led hundreds of people. Along with that
comes the opportunity to work with and help under performers. My first
meeting with an under performing employee would start off like this:
“Tell me why you think you are not performing and then tell me what I can do to help.”
you can imagine I have heard some very interesting answers. The
majority of the answers contained some reference of blame that was
being pointed at someone, something or someplace. Very few people would
sit there and tell me “It’s all my fault, I am not holding myself
accountable.” That would have made my job a heck of a lot easier!
biggest element missing in business today is personal accountability.
Personal accountability means that you take ownership for everything
you are responsible for. Everything is your responsibility and you own
it. You don’t blame others. You take control of situations. You
anticipate problems and their potential impact before they happen. You
plan accordingly. You work tirelessly. You demand excellence from
yourself. You set aggressive goals. You own your performance.
rare circumstances, there are conditions that arise that are completely
out of your control. Before you start the blame game, take a look at
what you could have done differently and hold yourself accountable.
Remember, if you miss your forecast, it’s your fault. If you miss a
deadline it’s your fault. If you forget to follow up with a client,
it’s your fault. You got chosen over for the new position, that’s your
fault too. Personal accountability is the most critical part of success
in any career. People that have it are rare and stand out amongst their
peers. Those that don’t are classified as victims. To succeed in the
world of business, be a vigilante, not a victim!
the columnist Christopher Thompson is the Founder and President of
Catch 22 Solutions, a sales performance consulting company and a former
Director of Sales at PC Connection, Inc. For more information visit http://www.catch22solutions.com