When I was a kid my Dad always told me to make adjustments not excuses. Easier said than done. It’s easy to make excuses. That’s why we do it. It makes us feel better. It’s a drug. The more we take it, the more we get addicted to it. Once you get addicted to excuses, it’s hard to break the habit.
As a leader, there is only one person to point to when things go wrong and that’s yourself. Of course many things can happen that are beyond your control. We own baseball teams and still haven’t figured out how to control the weather. But if fans don’t show up to our game it’s not because of the rain, it’s because we didn’t pre-sell enough tickets. That’s on us.
Excuses cause negativity and negativity ruins a culture. But how do you create a no excuse environment? It starts at the top. The leader cannot make excuses. It’s as simple as that.
When something goes wrong, they need to look in the mirror first and then make an adjustment. The leader needs to learn to pivot all excuses from the staff towards adjustments and solutions.
Make it very clear that your culture is a No Excuses Environment.
Again, easier said than done. But the more you understand the root of excuses, you can stop them before they happen. I believe most excuses come because we are defensive. We are worried about perception. What will others think? We have to remember that we are often so worried about what others will think about us but in reality people are very rarely thinking about us. Most people are in their own world focusing on their own life.
The great book by Bob Burg says it all: Its Not About You.
When most excuses are made to preserve the perception of you, this realization should hit home.
The more you focus on excuses and not adjustments, the more your team will suffer.
If you eliminated all excuses from your business, how positive would your culture be? How resulted oriented would your business be? And how much more successful would your business be?