With the Presidential Election occurring today, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss this topic. Unfortunately, no matter what side of the political fence you stand on, our politicians are full of excuses and always want to point the finger of blame on the other side and give excuses for the way things are. It would do us all well to heed a lesson I once learned from my middle school teacher:
Arriving late for gym class in 3rd grade and fumbling through the many reasons for my tardiness, my teacher, Coach Cole (who was also the varsity wrestling coach) told me in a stern voice, “Excuses are no excuse!” This phrase has stayed with me to this day.
Remember as you go through your daily business that people don’t want excuses, they want solutions. Often in today’s society we think if we have a good excuse then we are exempt from our responsibility. Nothing could be further from the truth!
I believe that leaders go first. Unfortunately, all too often leaders are the biggest offenders when it comes to giving excuses. Leaders often think owning up to a mistake or recognizing a bad decision will undermine their authority with those they lead. Just like in politics, nothing is more frustrating than when those in charge refuse to take responsibility and create excuses in an attempt to cover up or pass the blame.
If you want those you lead to take ownership of the outcome of their decisions and to find solutions for the shortcomings or problems they face, it has to start with you. Lead by example. When there is a problem address it, own it and fix it.
When we lead from the belief that “Excuses are no excuse!” it allows those we lead to see that we don’t expect perfection. Excuses lose their influence and solution building becomes the greater value. Remember, no one wants a perfect leader; people want a leader that owns the results of their decisions, good or bad, and makes changes accordingly.
What ways do you think that owning failures and eliminating excuses can help or hurt your role as a leader? What are some practical ways you can address the issue of excuses while promoting the value of solutions? Please leave a comment by clicking the reply button below.