I think most of us have heard the phrase–know your ABC’s. I take this to mean know your alphabet. ABC’s can perhaps also be thought of to mean know the beginning of something—the ABC’s of something, the start of or foundation of something.
Here is something else to know and be aware of:
In a recent autobiography I read by Urban Meyers retelling his years in NCAA football ( he won three national championships in ten years), he shares that being aware of and not practicing the BCD’s is a big value for him and his teams. He says,
“We teach watching out for BCD. It has never solved a problem, achieved a goal, or improved a relationship. Stop wasting your time and energy on something that will never help you.”
I found his unpacking of the BCD’s very helpful and convicting. I frankly admit that I have been guilty.
So what does BCD stand for? Here it is with me adding some meat to the skeletal framework.
This is where we find others to blame for things rather than owning them ourselves. We should come with—This is on me, my bad, I was wrong, I apologize, I’m sorry. It’s the temptation and tendency to point a finger elsewhere to take the spotlight off myself. As someone has humorously said, “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you place the blame.”
Do I take responsibility for my sin, my mistakes, my bad decisions or am I quick to blame someone else or something else? This seems to be epidemic in many organizations, even at the top levels. We don’t want to look bad, get demoted, or not get promoted. We want to keep ourselves looking squeaky clean and therefore cast the blame elsewhere. Nothing is ever my fault. Well, I wouldn’t have done such and such if _______ hadn’t done such and such; i.e. it wasn’t me but ____ who is at fault here. Wow, have I seen this in spades.
This entails not being and staying positive, but rather finding something negative everywhere we look. Finding the downside of every upside to the way things are happening at home and at work; finding a sand trap next to every green. Possessing a flat out negative outlook and attitude. Anyone can complain and point out all the problems. What we genuinely need is people who can provide solutions to those problems, not just moan and groan. Ain’t it awful?
This has to do with not being teachable and open when confronted on something; being too quick to defend ourselves; explain away and rationalize our behavior. It’s similar to blaming, but not exactly the same.
You can defend what you did (or did not do when you should have) by attempting to explain away what you should take responsibility for. Blaming would be the next step of shifting the focus to someone else
Urban also says this about BCD’s
“Ruthlessly eliminate BCD from your life. When confronted with difficult situations, elite performers waste zero energy worrying or engaging in BCD behavior.”
Here is a link to my book note Urban Meyer. If you like this, get the book. I guarantee you’ll like it. There’s a lot of excellent leadership insights from Urban in addition to the BCD’s