If given an assignment at work and you failed badly, what do you do?
- Say that you had challenges and accept responsibility for the failure
- Blame the team, managers, lack of resources, or anything else, but yourself
I would go the route of 1, but there are a lot of people who go the route of 2.
I have a strong Internal Locus of Control. People with a strong internal locus of control take control of my circumstances and take responsibility for the outcomes, whether good or bad. They believe in hard work and will take action to improve their situation.
Those with a strong External Locus of Control instead blame external factors for what happens to them. They believe that people are responsible for their success or lack thereof. They will give up easily when faced with obstacles and will often play the role of victim.
Those with Internal Locus of Control are often more successful.
That’s not to say that there are moments where I don’t blame others for my failures. I have done that from time to time. But eventually I do realise the folly of that thought, and then reflect on what I need to do better.
Though sometimes I wonder if I do take too much responsibility.
For example, when one of my team members are underperforming. I blame myself for not being able to help them perform better. But others will tell me that I can’t blame myself for that, as it is up to that team member to do what is necessary to perform.
I still don’t know.
I believe that everyone is capable of great things. I’m a bit naive that way.
If only I can teach people to have a stronger Internal Locus of Control that they can take control of their fates. I haven’t learned that skill yet.