Oh, the stories we tell and the stories we hear

Oh, the stories we tell and the stories we hear. Have you ever heard anyone use one of the excuses below to distance themselves from their responsibility as a team member? Shame on those of us who use these excuses and on those of us who let others use them.

It is not my meeting – Guess what? If you have a business reason to be in the meeting, then it is your meeting too. Not only do you have the right to contribute, you have a responsibility to contribute, so speak up and share your expertise and opinions.

I did not set the agenda – Just a step or two away from “it is not my meeting” is the infamous “well, I did not set the agenda”. The implication is that only the person who defines the agenda can decide what is discussed. So if critical information is not brought to the table, well, that is just too bad, because “Hey, I did not set the agenda.”

Well, nobody asked me – This one is usually accompanied by a pouting face or a petulant tone of voice. None of us should be expected to have access to psychic powers, but if you know a problem exists and you know the solution – it does not matter that nobody asked you directly. Step up and step in to help.

It is not my job – So you knew from reports you receive that the database was about to run out of space. Guess what? Last night the database ran out of space and this morning the application was unavailable for two hours. But it is not your problem; after all, you manage the hardware not the database. It is not your job.

Now do any of these excuses really make sense? Of course not. Remember when one team member decides to disengage, we all suffer the consequences.

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