The Blame Game and See You Next Year: Excuses and Delays in Company Performance
Recently I was fortunate enough to attend a major college football game, one that was part of the national championship playoff picture. The weather was perfect, the panoramic scene was great, and the atmosphere was electric. At least until the game moved along into the second half—and beyond as we exited. As disclaimers, I was part of the away team contingent, and “my team” won the game keeping its title aspirations alive, but I still believe I observed things that can be applied to business owners.
Let’s get to the details so we can create a good old-fashioned Area 51 conspiracy theory. In the game, there were several close calls made by the officials. Many went against the home team, and since I was attending in the stands, I did not have the benefit of ultra HD 4K replays from every angle at home. Nonetheless, I could feel (and hear) the crowd become increasingly agitated.
By the end, the crowd became downright hostile, and my family members were not spared on the way out of the stadium. The details are predictable and not important, but the message from the home fans was that the fix was in and that they would get us next year.
At Sumus, we hear things like that from business owners all the time. In a football game, it could be a bad bounce that leads to a turnover, a gust of wind during a field goal attempt, a “bad” call, an untimely injury, a lapse in communication (or judgment), or any other event that appears to be the difference maker. In business, there also could be a myriad of excuses, ranging from employee turnover to cancelled orders to bad weather (like a hurricane in the vacation rental business) to strategic blunders.
We have heard them all, and like the fans on the losing side of the big game, companies tell us they are about to turn things around, and—you guessed it—they will beat the competition next year. We even hear the conspiracy theories from owners about how everything was stacked against them and there was little or no way to succeed.
And the best way we can help is to not buy any of it.
The clearest path toward failure is to blame outside forces for any lack of performance, primarily because you get to the point of believing that the decisions you make as an owner or leader are futile. And that is not true. In fact, we believe in you, and hold the conviction that the disappointing bottom line stems more from a lack of confidence, planning and execution than some other-worldly influences.
The Sumus team can help you take actions that will allow you and your company to be prepared for any eventuality. The future is now (not next season). Please contact us to find out more.
(Photo by Nathan Shively)