No Blaming Zone

Paul Berggren
2 min readAug 29, 2022

It’s not “their” fault, it’s yours.

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

Whose fault is it? Who messed up, dropped the ball, slacked off, or just ignored the goal?

Who should I blame? If you need to find fault, look in the mirror.

Blame yourself, then make it right.

It’s not about shame, just honestly holding yourself responsible as a leader.

If something did not go as planned, and you were the leader responsible for the team, ultimately you and I as leaders need to accept the blame for not doing what was necessary to help your team get it right.

It takes humility to plan, communicate, ensure mutual understanding, cultivate commitment, and help them take action in ways that bring out the best in your team.

This was the very direct yet caring message from my recent listen to “Extreme Ownership: How Navy SEALS Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Their message is direct, yet respectful while seeking to help leaders balance the dichotomies we face every day.

It’s not about becoming extreme, just holding yourself ultimately responsible to get things right when tempted to pass the buck. The authors are former SEALS who consult with businesses to check their ego, lean in, and figure out what the team needs to get things right.


Someone may have royally screwed up, even after you made yourself clear.

AND YET, you didn’t connect. If this person has talent and adds to the team, where can YOU do better so they connect next time? If they’re not adding value, why are you tolerating mediocrity?

True? How is this true? False? What’s your rub with this view?

Life is a team sport. Help your team own the work as much as you.



Paul Berggren

I help people listen and learn from each other. As President of Crown Global HR, I bring clarity to growing and hiring people.