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  • The Blame Game

    Work for a big company long enough, and surely you’ll find someone blaming you unfairly or taking credit for a good deed you did. The author of the new book The Blame Game breaks down how this also affects entrepreneurs.

    Upstart: Startup/Entrepreneur

    Work for a big company long enough, and surely you’ll find someone blaming you unfairly or taking credit for a good deed you did. The author of the new book The Blame Game breaks down how this also affects entrepreneurs.

    An organizational psychologist, Ben Dattner wrote his book to look at the dual forces of credit and blame in the workplace.

    Getting blamed for a screwup at work or having someone else take credit for something you’ve actually done can be frustrating, to say the least. But it can also spread deep inside a company, demoralizing staff and ultimately making work more about office politics than “getting the job done.”

    That’s a key point Ben Dattner, the founder and principal of Dattner Consulting, a New York-based workplace consulting firm, makes in his book The Blame Game: How the Hidden Rules of Credit and Blame Determine Our Success and Failure. In an interview with Portfolio.com, Dattner explains how these dysfunctional strategies can apply to young entrepreneurs and how thinking about credit and blame differently can lead to better results.

    How does the “blame game” hold back young entrepreneurs, and what can they do to avoid these pitfalls?

    They need to take the longer view and not expect short-term positive feedback. If they want continuous praise, then maybe a regular job would be more rewarding. Entrepreneurs sometimes get no feedback at all, and people might not even tell you an idea is totally worthless. Entrepreneurs need to have vision and conviction, but also the ability to acknowledge failure.

    Rather than blame a venture capitalist or an employee, ask yourself “What can I do differently?” Be wary of scapegoating other people

    Isn’t it easier to externalize blame?

    It’s a short-term temptation to use external circumstances as a way to harness righteous rage. It’s more difficult be accountable and easier to be in denial; believing that no one recognizes my brilliance and talent.

    Gen Y and Gen Xers have often been portrayed as having a greater sense of entitlement than previous generations. How can that impact them as entrepreneurs and business owners?

    It’s been said that Millennials are the most praised generation, but expecting too much praise can be a trap. Your point of view, especially as an entrepreneur, might not be immediately reinforced by the world. It’s the idea that everyone deserves praise just for showing up at work or school. There’s a feeling that no one lost and everyone’s a winner. Entrepreneurs need to be willing to risk failure. You have to care about success, but can’t become so wrapped up that you let failure derail you.
    Read more:

    http://www.portfolio.com/resources/2011/04/28/ben-dattner-talks-about-how-the-blame-game-affects-entrepreneurs

    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Startup/Entrepreneur

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