top of page

Your problem just got bigger. Think, what have you done.

Deborah Young
Today's fortune submitted by:
Deborah Young

Houston, TX, USA

Sr. Manager of Application Development at Targa Resources, Deborah Young has over 30 years of experience in software development for corporate and legal sectors. Skilled in leading engineering teams through all phases of product lifecycle, she is dedicated to quality software delivery.

Think, What Have You Done?

My big brother used to sarcastically tell me that the first rule in business is to assign blame, because everything is always someone else's fault. I've never seen this rule written down anywhere, but I often see it in practice. Many times in business, the hot potato gets tossed around until the blame can stick to someone, and they are often the one who's away on vacation. When he comes back, he realizes he has been "thrown under the bus." I've never seen the bus, but people are always saying they don't like being thrown under it.

The board of directors will ask why the revenue is down. The President will ask his VP of Sales why the revenue is down, and he will say that marketing didn't deliver the leads. The VP of Marketing will say that the product wasn't ready on time. The VP for that Product will say that engineering messed up the specs. The VP of Engineering will say that the business analysts miscalculated the data. The VP of Business Analytics will say that the survey company didn't ask the right questions, and on, and on.

In each case, none of the people along the chain took responsibility for their part of the equation and everyone found themselves under the bus. The only way to get out from under the bus, is to yank someone else under there too. Someone ultimately gets blamed and takes up temporary residence in the proverbial dog house, where there isn't anything to do but quietly whine to please be let back into the house.

When I was a kid I stole a book of matches from my mother's desk and took them outside to see what I could light on fire. We had a metal swingset in the front yard with a rope swing. The end of the rope was frayed and I had the idea that I would burn the little tassels of fiber at the end of the rope. I struck the match, lit the end of the rope, and it quickly started burning. Within seconds, the flames were getting higher and like a dummy, my hand was still holding the little match under the rope when suddenly, big drops of plastic dripped out of the rope onto my hand. OUCH!!

My buddy squirted the rope with the garden hose and the flames were out. Yes, we were prepared with the hose. We were Boy Scouts after all. Anyway, I had a giant blister on my hand. So, I did what any brave young boy would do, I went in the house crying to my mother. Upon sight of my running into the house, all of my friends vanished, because even at that age, they knew that blame must be assigned.

My mother asked me how I got burned. I couldn't tell her that I had stolen the matches from her desk. That would be suicide. So I made up a story of how one of the older kids in the neighborhood flicked a cigarette at me and it burned my hand. Nope. She didn't buy it for one minute. So I came clean and told her I burned the rope on the swingset and it dripped on me because I had seen my brother burn the end of his shoelaces once. Then, my big brother got yelled at for "doing things with fire" in front of the younger kids. My big brother asked my mother, "where did Myles get matches?"

I was caught, and so my brother gave me a "charlie horse," and I took up residence in the proverbial doghouse. It took me a while as a kid to learn that honesty is the best policy, but it eventually sunk in. I am very grateful that my mother insisted on the truth. It has served me well in life.

The fact is that no one wins in the blame game; there are only different degrees of losing. When you find yourself with a big problem, look first at what you've done, and don't give in to the temptation to pass the buck. Have the courage to accept the blame when you are at fault, and have the grace to appreciate those who admit shortcomings as well. I've learned that the fastest way to solve a problem is to admit it.

Nutritian Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie

Percent Daily Value


Percent Daily Values are based on the essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy mindset, fostering success in your marketing, prosperity in your career, and fulfillment in your life.








Submitted by:

Deborah Young

Unpackaged in: 

Houston, TX, USA

Cookie Ingredients:


What marketing is really saying:

"Kid's popcorn, candy and soda: $158."

What marketing says:

"Kid's discounted movie tickets: $8."

Learn to speak marketing.


Get cookie alerts.

Have Today's Marketing Cookie delivered directly to your inbox every morning.

Today's Marketing Cookie


by Myles Bristowe

bottom of page