Most times, the easiest thing we have conditioned our minds to do when we face unfavourable situations in our organizations is to give excuses or rationalize our failures. Interestingly, as individuals or organizations sources of excuses will abound in all we do, but one thing everyone should know – like Dave Del Dotto said: “No one ever excused his or her way to success” – and no organization is at exception. Trying to excuse one’s way to success will be akin to one deliberately stopping his wristwatch or time piece and expecting to have accuracy of time, or worst still believing that other people’s time piece would stop all because he chose to stop his.
The truth about life and business is that when we are not doing what we ought to be doing for ourselves or for our businesses, others are doing them. It is surprising to know that many people have not realized that life does not reward intentions without actions. More often than not, our natural proclivity is to give ourselves permission to say what we want to do or intend to do but fail short of carrying them out. Some individuals and employees in organizations who procrastinate and at the same time give excuses for poor performance are being unfair to themselves and their organizations. This is because they are shortchanging the growth of their organizations to their own peril.
Most people are caught in the web of excuses majorly because they have not been measuring themselves based on results. They have not been measuring their input based on the result the organization is getting. As a matter of fact, some do not even care to know what is going on in their organizations as long as they are being paid as at when due. We should begin to measure our successes or failures based on the results we generate either for ourselves or for our organizations. Measuring success or failure as a function of results basically means that we are taking a tough, end point approach to self-evaluation. Funny enough that is how the world has been measuring us. No one or an organization can set its own rules or laws; the world, the customers and even the shareholders have set the rules. And importantly, they have the ability even without our permission to enforce them on us.
If we are to start measuring our lives based on results that will make us to stop giving or taking excuses from other people. The truth is that anyone when given an opportunity can come up with one excuse or the other for poor performance. I have been a proponent of running one’s organizations as if it is one’s business. This is because having ownership thinking helps us to do more and equally go the extra mile for our organizations. So you can see that most excuses we give some times are based on the fact that the organization does not belong to us – and we don’t have a stake, but we seriously do.
Again giving excuses do not only affect our organizations but also ourselves in that it makes us losers. Because losers do not normally take actions when they should, and remember when you are not taking actions, others are taking. It is also the same thing as saying when we do not treat our customers’ right, our competitors are ready and eager to put smiles on their faces – and ultimately grab them from us.
To improve on our performance, everyone in the organization should make up their minds to quit giving excuses and take well defined actions. We should remember the time honoured formula: Be, Do & Have. Meaning BE committed, DO what it takes, and you will HAVE what you want. Instead of making excuses, resolve within yourself to take the first step, make the effort and be persistent in the pursuit of your goals. Your life should be filled with victories and rewards. If you are losing, that means somebody else is winning, so you know that winning happens. It might as well happen to you, but it’s not going to happen by accident, it will never happen when you give excuses no matter how glamorous those excuses are, winning will only happen because you made it happen. It will happen because you know what you want and move towards it in a strategic, consistent, meaningful, purposeful manner. Take action, and insist on results and avoid excuses. You and your organization will be better for it.
Finally, remember that everyone has one excuse or the other to give, but until we rise above our excuses and take responsibility and ownership of the outcome, our organization might end up operating below average – while those that have risen above the excuses of others will operate above average.
I would want to receive your perspectives, comments or questions.