I’ve worked with a lot of teams over the years and I’ve seen a disease that runs rampant in teams existing in drama. I’ve seen it so much, I’ve even coined my own phrase for it- excuse-itis.
Excuses are a pesky thing because they tend to multiply. The more we make excuses, the more comfortable we become making them in all areas of our lives. We essentially give ourselves an alibi for the mediocrity happening in our lives. One excuse after another and we’ve justified why we aren’t creating the outcomes we know we should be.
And then we fall into the trap of “should.” The word “should” holds so many individuals and teams back from producing great outcomes. Whenever I hear should, I know there’s drama attached. It’s human nature to want to complain about the way that we think things should be. We notice things about our lives, our jobs, our industries that we don’t like and we dwell on all the things that should have been done but weren’t. Then we make excuses for why we can’t do anything to step up and make a difference.
As leaders, we aren’t immune to excuse-itis, and we have to diligently fight it from taking over our teams. It starts with us.
While outside circumstances can be frustrating, we don’t have any control over them. We need to focus on the things we can control. That’s where the power lies. When we focus on what we can control and lead our teams in doing the same, action takes the place excuses used to occupy. That kind of power creates confidence, spurs on creativity and ultimately leads to great outcomes.
When we stop making excuses, we start making progress, and everyone wants to be on a team that makes progress. I’d rather have a lot of great outcomes than a lot of great excuses. Wouldn’t you?