Home  >  131 Leadership  >  131.007 Leadership - Blame yourself or blame no one

Blame yourself or blame no one

As a leader I am the one who holds the responsibility for the choices and performance of my team. I am the only one who bears the responsibility for things gone wrong.

Marcus Aurelius wrote: “If it’s in your control, why do you do it? If it’s in someone else’s control, then who are you blaming? Atoms? The gods? Stupid either way. Blame no one. Set people straight, if you can. If not, just repair the damage.”

There are two important lessons here, opposite sides of the coin: 1. For things in my control, I need to be in the details. I want to take the blame for anything that doesn’t go as it should, and I want to be able to take the praise when things do go well (not that I will, in that case I will try to push it back down to the teammates who did it). I wrote about this in my email to myself when starting at VC Lab. 2. For things not in my control, don’t hold any judgement whatsoever - let go of the things you can’t control. There is no point in blaming what is not in your control because you don’t know the circumstances that created the issue/problem in the first place, and you only decrease happiness and agency by worrying about or judging those things.

    • Me
    • Daily Stoic email