Whether you’re in business, politics, sports or even law enforcement, like Detroit Police Chief James Craig, your judgment is going to fail you at times. It happens to everyone, but these are the moments that define leaders. It is imperative that you take responsibility for your actions. In James Craig’s case, the decisions he makes can quite literally be life and death. But no matter how tempting it is to pass blame or make excuses, he refuses to lead in such a way.
Craig’s interview reminds me of a phrase my old middle school science teacher used to use repeatedly with his students: “Those who are good at making excuses are seldom good at anything else”. This saying has resonated with me throughout my academic career as well as my personal life. Although I later discovered that these words were borrowed from Benjamin Franklin, they’re still applicable to myself and many others in numerous aspects of daily life.
Imagine if James Craig were to pass the blame and make excuses whenever something went wrong. It would become clear that he prioritized his own reputation over the well-being of his city. It would be impossible for him to be motivational or inspirational. Thankfully, he’s motivated by love, and when you truly lead with love, and show that you care, instead of making excuses, those who you lead will respect you and love you back.
Student. Entrepreneur. Dreamer.