As a leader, I learned a long time ago that when things go wrong, the blame must always start with me.
Team didn’t get the store open on time? I could have scheduled a different crew. I could have set my expectations more clearly. I could have trained better. I could have brought them in earlier.
Sales don’t match projections? I could have set my projections lower. I could have done more external marketing. I could have improved our service or our quality.
But it’s not just as a leader. It’s as an adult.
I’m behind on my bills? I could have spent less. I could have picked up a second job. I could turn my cable TV off, taken the train instead of driving, and taken my lunch. I could have borrowed some money to get caught up.
I’m finding myself fighting with my girlfriend? I could be more empathetic. I could seek counseling. I could tell her to kick rocks. I could kick rocks myself. Or I could work out a plan for both of us to do better and be less stressed and contentious.
The point is — as an adult, as a man, as a boss, as an employee, complaining and whining doesn’t get you very far. I doubt very seriously that anyone reading this would get away with blaming anyone or anything for very long. Your boss would call you out, and your spouse would definitely call you out.
I think a major mark of maturity is the ability to field criticism without immediately saying, “yeah, but…”
A great indicator that you’ve arrived at self-sufficient adulthood is when you find yourself in turmoil, immediately asking, “what could I have done differently to create a different situation?”
And among my conservative friends, the “self-sufficient” push is even more aggressive. Conservatives take it to a macro-sociological level, seeking to mold society through making sure every man & woman is “taught to fish” rather than simply fed.
If you’re broke, it’s YOUR fault. If you’re struggling, YOU should get 2 jobs and pull yourself up. It’s not society’s fault, it’s not white people’s fault, it’s not the government’s fault, it can’t be the police’s fault.
We are a nation of laws, we all have the same opportunity, so if you’re not getting what you want, don’t blame anyone but yourself.
Then at what point, dear conservatives, are you going to call out your leader for being the biggest, whiniest blamer to ever take the office of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry S. “The Buck Stops Here” Truman?
There’s this one about Ivanka and Nordstrom. There’s this blatant, reviewable lie about the Cabinet vetting process. There’s this fun one about Russia, Iran, and Obama. There’s this one about the “failing” New York Times. Here’s another about fake news. Here’s this disgraceful, terribly un-presidential one blaming the District Court in Washington if terror should befall us.
And that was just a quick scan of the last 4 days of tweets.
Where’s the businessman who gets shit done? Why not just craft a new executive order? Why not “negotiate” with Congress to get people through faster — or here’s an idea, nominate people who are easier to confirm?
Would your boss for a minute put up with you whining about things not going your way, or would he or she just expect you to make shit happen, because that’s why they pay you?
Would you tolerate your employees bitching daily about how it’s someone else’s fault they can’t get their job done?
Donald Trump is my president, just like he’s yours. I don’t buy the “not my president” stuff. WE elected him, even if I voted against him, because I live in a democracy and he won the election under our rules.
He works for me, just like he works for you. And I respect his office, if not him.
If I could do every job in my restaurant, I would, because I know my own professionalism and passion. But I can’t — both because I lack the skills and the ability to be in 7 places at once — so I hire people who are better than me to do the work. And I hold them accountable, and I don’t take excuses. I’m not mean or hard-hearted, but I’m also not going to allow them to defile themselves by making excuses.
When I hire a president, I expect him to be better at his job than I would be. I want him to hold himself accountable. I don’t want him to defile his office by whining, complaining, and pointing fingers.
As a conservative who believes in teaching people to fish, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and blaming no one but yourself for the situation you find yourself in, I ask you:
When are you going to demand the same of your president?
Originally published at rickeydobbs.com on February 10, 2017.