Continuing the break down of dealing with the individual fears that prevent people from taking action on ideas with today’s topic Fear of Blame.
Many people won’t move forward on an idea because they don’t want to catch the blame if the project goes wrong. They won’t even entertain the possibility of it actually turning out well! If there is a chance it will go wrong, they want to make certain they have plausible deniability of ever having been involved.
Sometimes you can get past this person by simply acknowledging they are on the record as being against it. Many times they will also want the right to say “I told you so” if it does go wrong.
A majority of managers (that sounds like a “flock of birds” or a “murder of crows” — a “majority of managers”) only want to keep their heads down, do the bare minimum to get by until their next review where they can show that they checked the average number of boxes, and then start the process over again. A lot of them won’t care won’t you do as long as it doesn’t splash back on them or isn’t so high profile it catches the attention of someone too high up on the food chain.
If your ideas does get negative attention, they will say they were unaware of your actions and throw you under the bus in a heartbeat (and then back that bus up over top of you)!
You call it Blame.
I call it Credit.
What a change in perspective!
Don’t worry about taking the “blame” for an idea — position yourself to take the “credit” for it.
- Even if it goes awry, take the blame as credit for trying something new.
- Take the blame as credit for whatever lessons you learned and experience you gained during the process (even if it flopped).
- But mostly take the blame as credit for being brave and taking a little risk that others were unwilling to do.