Just Look Up - to see who is to blame

Looking for someone to blame? Just look up from where you first see the symptoms of a problem, and you'll find a source of the problem. That's where some of the blame belongs. That's the immediate cause.

Look ever higher, and you'll eventually find the individual who is the root cause of the problem. That's where your solution has to start.

My experience shows that this works well every time. I haven't seen a situation where it doesn't.

That's not to say that there aren't problems caused by non-human events and activities - there are. That's not to say that everything is controllable - many things aren't. Nevertheless, keep this principle in mind whenever you're trying to find out who is to blame for something that goes wrong in your business affairs.

I've seen situations where an employee didn't complete an assignment as instructed. The owner of the establishment insisted that it was the fault of the employee. Sure enough it was, but there was plenty of blame to go around.

We have to consider multiple possibilities. Did the employee forget? Did they ignore elements of the assignment? Were there distractions involved? It's hard to say. If we just look up, we'll see where the supervisor could have avoided the problem by:

  • better supervision (checking) of activities
  • clearer instructions
  • better training
  • instituting a system of verification
  • hiring better employees
If we continue to look up, we might find that the owner issued instructions to the employee and completely bypassed the supervisor. We might also find that the owner never bothered to verify that the important task was completed. It's also possible that we have an owner who is reluctant to fire an incompetent supervisor and hire someone who will do a better job of hiring and supervising.

Most likely, we'll also find a general inability of the company to effectively recruit good employees and motivate them to perform well. If employees don't believe that their job is an essential part of the business operation, how can anyone expect them to perform well?

We might also find weaknesses in the areas of incentives, discipline and termination of employment. No one said it was going to be easy running your own business, but finding the source of problems is rather simple - just look up.

It's one of the reasons I enjoy being a "one-zee" and running my own show - I have no one to blame but myself, and when it comes to looking up, all I have to do is look in the mirror.

Done with Just Look Up, take me back to High Overhead


Done with Just Look Up, take me back to Small Business Advice



The only business you'll really ever be part of is your own.

Wondering about what to do with your savings so inflation doesn't eat it up? Start your own enterprise. It's a good way to invest your capital and make it work for you. Who will be better at keeping an eye on your investment than you?