Installment 4: CEOWorld Article Series By James M. Kerr - Want To Be A Decent Leader? Stop Making Excuses.

This, our 4th installment, of my Decency Series focuses on discussing why making excuses inhibits long-term business success.

Excuses are things that we tell ourselves so we can feel better about failing.

How many times have you heard (or, worse, made) statements, like:

  • We lost that deal because someone or something was unfair.
  • We could have done better, except someone or something didn’t go our way.
  • We missed our targets due to some unforeseen thing happening to us.

I could go on, but, you get the point. It is the most exceptional leader ends the above statements with: “because I didn’t do my job.”

How To Stop Making Excuses

  1. Stay In The Moment: You will improve outcomes by staying in the moment and working through details with your team. Improve results and you’ll have less need to make excuses for sub-par performance.
  2. Eliminate “Should Be” Thinking: If you can do that, you will tune off your excuse percolator. Instead, focus your energy on problem solving and you will facilitate breakthroughs thinking among your team.
  3. Practice Self-Reflection: Provide yourself with some “quiet time” every day. Use that time to reflect on how you’re doing and things you can work on to be even better. The better you get at what needed to excel at your job, the less you’ll need to make excuses for short falls in expectations.

Stop making excuses if you want to introduce common decency back  into your company culture. Stop making excuses if you want to fold common decency back  into your leadership repetoire.

To close, if you’d like some help with developing decency among your leaders, reach out. We’ve developed an leadership coaching to program that can help your high potentials and current leadership team keep deceny top-of-mind.

Note: This entry is based on my CEOWorld article, published on November 23, 2020 in its Business Transformation section.