As time goes on, I’ve been finding myself caring a lot less about “who is at fault?” when something goes wrong. I’ll certainly want to investigate why something went wrong, but the who is less relevant.
I’ll admit, part of this is because I’m lucky with how great our team is at GreenMellen. I’m confident that every decision they make is done in the best interest of the company, so the outcome is a bit less relevant. It’s kind of like the idea of removing decisions from outcomes; if the decision was made with the right intent, I’m not going to be upset about the outcome.
This leads to two other angles.
First, assigning fault doesn’t solve the problem. In his book “Integrity“, author Henry Cloud puts it this way:
Successful people care very, very little about “fault.” They do not worry about things “being their fault.” Fault to them does not have the most important implications, as it does for immature characters. What has the most important implications for mature characters is solving the problem.
Second, assigning fault might give a client a chance to beat up one our staff, which is no good for anyone. Beat up Ali or I instead. The problem with letting a client yell or harass one of your staff leads to can go two ways:
- The staff is likely to bow down to whatever the client demands, for fear of losing them.
- On the flip side, I’m happy to “fire” a client if they behave that way.
Again, the tenure of our employees has helped a lot with that over the years, as they’re quick to let us know when a client is becoming unruly so we can deal with it. It’s very rare, but it happens.
At the end of the day, some things will go wrong and you can either look to assign blame or look to solve the problem. The better choice seems pretty clear.