“It’s Not You, It’s Me…” That’s right!! – 3 Reasons Why

“It’s Not You, It’s Me…” That’s right!! – 3 Reasons Why

“It’s not you, it’s me,” may have crossed your lips once upon a time to help you end a relationship. Of course, what you were really thinking was likely the opposite but this seemed like a let-down-easy strategy to shield you from having to detail blame. When, however, was the last time you heard that from a business leader? Where ego and self-preservation strategies are more likely about shielding yourself from blame rather than accepting responsibility. Leaders need to acknowledge when it’s not you it’s them…and here’s why.


Whether you manage yourself, a team or an empire, the fundamental success principle at play is being accountable for both your actions and your results. Accountability is not blame. Blame implies fault rather than responsibility. If an employee is in error or under producing there is still the matter of where the buck stops. You may not have made the errant behavior but when you are responsible for results it ultimately circles back to you.

Accepting blame for results may dictate further actions like better training your staff or even if you have to fire someone when you hold yourself accountable for results you will find the motivation to take the appropriate steps down the line. That may be bringing in training or sending a worker out the door but don’t sit with blame for another when there’s something you can do to change the results.


When you are answerable for a result you have an obligation to understand it. Whether it comes up short or blows the doors off being accountable is a way of taking responsibility in public, or private. Assessing responsibility however, is about diagnosing actions or processes to see what brought you to the result that you are accountable for.

Others’ actions may be more directly responsible for the results but by making it clear that the leader answers for results it can make fixing behaviors, tools or people much smoother because it has been demonstrated that you are leading solutions not just doling out consequences.

Lead by Example

While it’s not a strategy to celebrate, when you are accountable for results and responsible to fix people and processes leading to those results you demonstrate the example that you want everyone working or with you to have. Telling your board or boss or partner that you are confronting challenges rather than hiding from them demonstrates a commitment to a different result.

When you step up for the “blame” chances are those you report to are going to look for the lower reasons it isn’t you! It builds trust to know that it’s not about victims it’s about shared efforts toward solutions. Seeing you take these steps show your staff/team exactly the behavior you want them to demonstrate in their role or function.

The next time a result is in front of you that cries out for explanation think about the example you can set by being accountable for it and taking responsibility to fix it, or maybe repeat it. Conversely, taking a humble approach for success, “It’s not me, it’s you!” is the appropriate response and your best chance to continue getting the best out of others, and of yourself.

©2019 MyEureka Solutions LLC. For more BUSINESS THERAPY insights follow Tom @TomFoxTrainer, on LinkedIn or at www.myeurekasolutions.com/thoughts. His recent book: Business Therapy: Ideas and Inspirations To Help Build Sales, Leadership, Management, and Personal Performance is available on Amazon


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