This week’s topic: Jettison Justification

We have all justified something that we should not have. Sometimes it is to save face, at others it is to deflect blame. In any event, it is not healthy for us or our organizations.

We would all agree that we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes. Since that is true, why is it so difficult to admit when something went wrong and it was our fault?

I was taught to “Make a difference–not excuses.” I was also taught to complain only if I had a better solution. While this is sound advice that I have strived to implement for my entire life, it does not go far enough. We must also take ownership of our mistakes.

In order to take ownership of our mistakes, we must first jettison justification.

It is human nature to downplay negative effects when we are the cause of those effects. We serially commit sins of omission by not admitting the whole truth to ourselves and others. It is far easier to shade the truth than to embrace it.

It has been said that the key to getting out of a hole is to first stop digging. Justifying our actions does not stop the digging: it only hits the pause button. For the learning process to begin, justification has to end.

Own your mistakes. Learn from them and use those lessons to benefit yourself and your organization. To start the process, jettison justification.