This was a question I was asked this morning and while its shocking I am actually more shocked that other people haven’t asked me the same question. Why would someone who can easily blame other people for their problems STILL take ownership and accountability? Because that is a winners mentality. It is a winner’s mentality because it accepts that other people aren’t against you, instead they are out for self. And because it accepts that even if they do help you it wont be much. You will beg and plead and search for help and still be left in need. See I am playing chess here.
I have looked over and past people doing things for you and realize that in three moves you will still be in need of more help. Just look at the civil rights movement. Lives were lost, people were arrested, and fifty years later folks are worse off? Why would you want to rehash that? So you can look back fifty years from now and again be worse off? The only thing we have yet to do, on a mass level, is choose ourselves. This is where my criticism stems from. I point to us because I am choosing us and choosing us is the only way we can win. Choosing others and placing them above us puts us further down the totem pole.
When I speak to black folks I speak because I am one of us. I speak to us because it is our actions that will save us. The savior stuff will have you stuck. You will lose until you decide to become your own savior and develop power not equality.
So when you see me “criticizing” or “holding accountable” our people it’s because that is the only way to become your own savior. ET said it best, there are programs that exist at the government, business and church level to help people win but they continue to lose. They will continue to lose until THEY become their own savior.
Kobe criticizes his own work and he holds himself accountable to win the game and that is why he is a champion. Losers blame others for their losses and they point the finger at others for not doing what they were “supposed to” do, and that is why they are losers.
What I see so often though is people who think that if other people will just do something or stop doing something that life will open up for them. The problem is that is a defensive way of looking at life and no other group that is successful in America functions this way. Jews were kept out of elite financial institutions so they created Goldman Sachs. Asians create China towns and Korea towns instead of begging to be let into other peoples towns. They took ownership when they could have easily and justifiably complained about being shut out. To this day I don’t see any other successful American group begging for equality, they went out and took it.
The beauty of creating with a heart of resentment is that it gives you a chip on your shoulder that helps you sacrifice and stack. This motivation exceeds that of your Caucasian counterparts who are comfortable and unwilling to grind. This is why the Jewish institutions are the top of the country. This is why black athletes are the best in the country. If you use the slights and injustices as fuel you will go far, even further than the “opposition”.
Instead of looking at your history as a reason to mope, look at your history as a reason to thrive. Instead of looking at your history as a reason to say nothing is possible, use it as a reason to say nothing is going to get in my way.
As I said above, instead of using your situation or your circumstances as a way to point out how you are wronged, use it as a way to make sure you aren’t ever wrong. This is extreme ownership and accountability. When you take extreme ownership you win, you play life on the offense. It’s like Gary V says, if I walk outside and get hit by a bus I think to myself “I should have left earlier”. I believe that we would point at all the things the bus did wrong. The problem with that is it allows people to not focus on leaving early as a metaphor for taking extreme ownership and instead point at all the people getting hit by buses and promote bus change and locking up bus drivers.
I’m getting away from the point. But I’m also kind of not. I speak on black folks because I want change for black folks and I happen to be a black folk. I see us whining and complaining and protesting for others to do something for us and based on how I live my life it just doesn’t really jibe. I have lived a life of no sympathy and action taking. My family doesn’t give us a pat on the head and tell us that its ok or that the world is just out to get us. My mom was never at school telling the teacher what she aint gon do or taking the side of the kid. My mom didn’t let me blame cops and for that I am thankful. I have multiple degrees, no kids out of wedlock, successful career and business, aint no oppression.
To conclude: When I got pulled over for a tail light my mom didn’t say “see they always pulling over brothers” no, she told me to get a new tail light. And that is what extreme ownership is. Extreme ownership is controlling what you can control and you know what, when you do whats right, right things happen to you. Its my job to promote my line of thinking and that of thinking is making sure that I am doing the right thing not that others are doing the right thing. My line of thinking is being in the right, period. That is what I encourage us to do and it shouldn’t be seen as condescending or disrespectful. If I didn’t love you I wouldn’t say anything.