The Scapegoat Manager


This is a story about poor leadership and blaming others.


In ancient times, a scapegoat was used to place the burden of blame and responsibility on a goat. This ensured the magistrate escaped the wrath of angry townsfolk, while simultaneously controlling goat overpopulation.


Today, this same tactic can be used to ensure you fit in with the people you manage.

If you sense a policy or procedure will be unpopular with those you supervise, blame it on the higher-ups.


As a leader, you must be infallible. If you make a mistake, blame it on any thing or anyone else, other than yourself. You’ve got a reputation to upholde. <—- Whoops, typo. Looks like my editor dropped the ball.

If you want to make it in this world, you have to be popular, and popular people don’t deliver bad news. Memos deliver bad news. Popular people deliver raises. And donuts.


  • Borrow your manager’s stationery and send out fake memos with really bad news. Watch everyone scramble to place blame. It’s really fun!

  • Tell your manager you respect people who tell hard truths and stand by them.

  • Though this quality is frustrating, the best thing you can do is learn from it and be a better leader when you’re sitting in the bosses chair.


  • It’s not your fault, it’s that darn climate change!

  • Part of being a leader is delivering bad news and taking responsibility.

  • With great... umm... power comes great responsibility?

  • Accept responsibility for your successes and failures. You’ll find people appreciate this quality.