Buck passing, or passing the buck, or sometimes (playing) the blame game, a common phrase we generally use is the act of attributing to another person or group one’s own responsibility. Harry Truman had a little sign on his desk while he was president of the USA. It said ‘The buck stops here’.
This act is super interesting because it requires a different kind of psychological courage. How??
As human beings, we designed to self protect – from any threat, harm, or any damage to our self worth or self-esteem. We vigorously fight for our psychological survival.
When things go wrong and there are likely chances for blame or negative consequences, we quickly swing into action. We do everything in our capacity to externalize the responsibility and create distance between us and the so-called ‘mistake’. We can go to any lengths and breaths to preserve our belief in being right or correct.
All this takes place subconsciously. Well, most of the times at least.
But here is what incredible leaders realize that self-protection or defence leads to team isolation!! No exceptions to this. We are actually in flight mode means running from the situation by not taking its responsibility.
Incredible leaders take an opening gambit. They act and say that ‘the buck stops here’. Because then magic happens!! Others begin to follow that incredible leader. (The ones who don’t, are not worth it anyway) People do what their leaders do, times a thousand.
Where does the buck stop for you? It’s time we rethink this paradigm, isn’t it?