Too many leaders are quick to make excuses for why their companies aren’t performing to expectations by blaming others or circumstances outside themselves when things don’t go as planned. However, if you are a true leader, you make no excuses and accept the responsibility for the results you get. By honing your own ability to lead, you will experience three payoffs that lead to success:
Payoff #1: You Know Yourself. As a leader, you have a life-sized laboratory or playground for exploring who you are, what you really want in life, and what you do to get what you want. As you become a more intentional leader, you shift to more deliberate, conscious choices and see more alignment between your intentions and impact. With this level of intentionality, you get the results you intended and don’t make excuses for the results you get.
Feedback is a primary way to get you to a place where you know yourself better, whether this feedback comes from assessments, other people, or the results you get from your actions. The trick is to be able to reflect on this feedback and to integrate it with your experiences. This allows you to know yourself better, which puts you well on your way to becoming a no-excuses leader.
Payoff #2: Align Your Business. Once you are more deliberate in the personal impact you intend, it follows that you would create that same alignment in your business. This alignment is about using your company’s intention (its mission, vision, goals, and values) to craft plans, procedures, processes, and systems that guide your employees to “walk the talk” regularly.
Creating and using a living, breathing strategic plan and current company goals, you and your leadership team ensure that daily work aligns with the company’s most important priorities. Every action taken, every promise made and acted upon reflects what you intended and wrote in the mission statement, your vision statement, and the strategic plan. You cultivate this same alignment with individual employees and teams throughout the company. With the business aligned, you decrease the need to make excuses for the outcomes you get.
Payoff #3: Express Yourself Clearly and Powerfully. The final payoff as a no-excuses leader is clear and powerful communication. To achieve this, you see communication as a powerful, unifying process throughout your company. You check your own actions and words as well as your company’s systems to ensure the important communications employees need to hear are sent without mixed messages.
As a no-excuses leader you use a mix of stories, facts, and images to engage employees’ hearts and minds. You also learn to use influence more often than coercion to get stakeholders to join with you to accomplish you most important goals.
Socrates is attributed with saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Are you ready to examine your leadership to become a no-excuses leader?