written by Angie Morgan & Courtney Lynch

How often in the past week have you heard blame directed towards “they?”


  • They aren’t clear about their priorities and now I’m working weekends to catch up
  • They aren’t recruiting right and without headcount we won’t be able to hit our goals
  • They were bullish about the return to office and now I’m struggling to find childcare
  • They promised this additional responsibility would be temporary and that was two years ago

With all that “they” do to plot against us, don’t you ever pause for a second and wonder who, exactly, they are?

In our minds, “they” are this monolithic evil doer whose decisions, ideas, and general lack of common sense frustrate us, derail us, and prevent us from achieving our goals.

“They” are also easy targets because as long as “they” exist, we don’t have to be accountable to the challenges we bump up against in everyday life.

As long as “they” are wrong and foolish, we get to be right and wise.

But … what if there is no “they?” What if we systematically eliminated this scapegoat from our lives?

What if:

  • We aren’t clear about our priorities and work weekends because we’re disorganized
  • Us missing goals has nothing to do with recruiting and everything to do with our team’s focus
  • We can’t find childcare because we waited until the last minute to find a provider
  • We haven’t forced a conversation about how the additional responsibility is frustrating our work lives

This takes a different tone, doesn’t it?

This is what accountability looks like. It’s hard to confront how we play a part in every single struggle we find ourselves in, yet as soon as we do, something significant happens:

We put ourselves in the driver’s seat of our lives by stopping the blame, starting the ownership, and taking the necessary actions that will get us from here to where we want to go. 

We urge you … the next time you hear that “they’re” at it again, pause and rewrite that statement. Seek to push what accountability looks like and identify the actions that can help you lead yourself out of the problem. You may not have caused the situation you find yourself in, but you’ve got 100% control of how you lead yourself out of it.

Looking for a once-in-a-career experience? Learn about Lead Star’s Leadership Coaching Program, Year to Rise.

Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch are the co-founders of Lead Star and the New York Times best-selling authors of SPARK: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success, Leading from the Front, and Bet on You