I've come to agree that possibly the most useless, and potentially career-inhibiting, thing to do is to look for excuses when things go bad. Even when its not really "your fault", taking mental responsibility seems to be the most constructive thing to do going forward. I'm separating mental responsibility, from claiming public responsibility here.:)
I need an example to explain this.
Let's say a project you were working on is in peril because of any situation, say Mr. Y's incompetence, a very natural thing to do is to remind yourself repeatedly that Mr. Y is a @#$@% and just stay in that mindset cursing your bad luck. The alternative is to immediately take responsibility and ask
- what could I have done to avoid this? could I have made it so that Mr. Y didn't screw up? could I have anticipated this?
- ok fine. Screw up noted. Now what is the best way I can proceed now?