Most of what I do for a living involves getting other people to think and act differently. In other words, to do the dreaded “c” word: change. The irony is, when it comes to changing, I’m just as stubborn as everyone else. I don’t always practice what I preach. And I’m certainly not alone.

“Do as I say, not as I do” hypocrisy has haunted man since the beginning of time. From hopelessly out of shape doctors telling you to eat right and exercise and self-righteous politicians to Hollywood preaching respect for women and gun-free zones, none of us want to admit that we’re all hypocrites.

As a sign of good faith that I’m not just pointing fingers here, let me be the first to admit that I am a hypocrite. Not only that, I’m going to cop to the hands-down dumbest character flaw I give others shit about all the time but have never been able to shake myself. Ready? Here goes.

When I got into the business world, I took to personal accountability like the Pope to religion. And when I became a manager, even more-so: When I take responsibility for something, I own it. Period. The buck stops here.

Except at home.

At home I’m a chronic excuse maker. I don’t know what it is, but once my wife gets pissed off and fixes me with that disapproving glare, I’m like a little kid who swears up and down that the dog ate his homework.

I know it stems from childhood — I mean, doesn’t everything? — but then, that’s just another excuse now isn’t it?

This is me when I’ve screwed up, except I must be lacking John Belushi’s inimitable charm since my wife never falls for it, at least not the way Carrie Fisher did in this clip from The Blues Brothers.

When it comes to practicing what we preach, we all have blind-spots. So fess up: What do you preach that you never practice?

Related: Hypocrisy: The Latest Critical Success Skill

  • Barry Duck

    I believe it is harder at home, I tell my grand daughter if she doesn’t do something I’m not taking her out for new clothes or something to that effect, but I generally cave in. But when I was at the plant, I never caved even when it meant I had to fire someone if I really didn’t want to. I would tell them if they screwed up one more time that was it and of course it seemed like the next day they would. I would really feel bad but the rest of my employees knew I meant what I said. But I did give them fair warning. When I left manufacturing, one of my employees came to me and told me that he was scared to death of me, but finally figured out I was a good guy. I never had a clue he felt that way. I just tried to treat everyone the same and followed threw with what I told them.