“Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.”
George Washington Carver
If you are making excuses it is a failure of leadership. Period. If you are looking to assign fault, you are making an excuse. You have already failed.
I’ve heard folks say, “I’m not making excuses, I just want to make sure you understand the reasons why this happened.” I firmly believe that the only difference between ‘excuses’ and ‘reasons’ is the action plan needed to drive change. Reasons without action are just another name for an excuse and excuses don’t come with actions.
The problem with excuses and “reasons” is that the effort is spent focused on the problem and all the reasons why something didn’t work. This doesn’t add value in any way. Now I am not saying it isn’t important to understand root cause and effect, but understanding is only important if you are then focused on doing something about it!
I recently read something really profound that puts this in perfect perspective.
“Focus only on the solution to the problem – never on the problem itself.”
If you are solution oriented, you can’t be making excuses. If you are ‘problem oriented’ then excuse-making and failure will be your best friends. If you are looking for a reason something happened to take action, great. But make sure that ACTION is what you are focused on creating, never excuses…
Excuses = Failure…