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‘I did it, but you did it worse’

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

It’s been an ugly presidential campaign. While we prefer to stay neutral—or mum—on the topic, something is happening on both sides of the campaign that warrants a discussion: blame shifting.

The concept is not new in politics. Candidates usually try to make the opposition look worse than they are, but this year seems to have reached a new level. We have candidates, their campaign teams, and millions of their supporters saying things like “Yeah, I/he did it, but what she did is unforgivable” or “I/she made a mistake, but his mistakes are sooooo much worse.” The point is to take the heat off one candidate and force it on the other—and it eviscerates accountability.

That’s why collectively, we’re dubbing all those people our Worst Communicator of the Month.

This behavior doesn’t fly in the real world. If your actions cause you to lose a customer, is your boss going to excuse your behavior because you say, “But Judy lost four customers?” If you make an error that costs your company buckets of money, is the CEO going to say “It’s fine, because Dan made a worse mistake two years ago?” No. You’re going to be held accountable for your actions.

You are going to mess up sometimes, but you’ll gain more respect if you confess and say, “I did it. It’s my fault,” and then focus on what you’re doing to correct the issue—and prevent it in the future. Imagine how refreshing it would be if our political leaders did same.

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