Do You Have an Excuse Free Zone?

Runner falling down

"So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands" (Ps. 78:72).

David had a powerful combination of heart and skill. All leaders need a similar combination of character and competency. It's been said many times with wide variations, that our competency will open doors for us and our character will keep us there.

A heart condition that tends to show up most when under pressure is excuse making. When a leader offers an excuse to explain why a goal wasn't achieved, it's as if a bright spotlight is switched on.

An excuse exposes the failure of skill and character. The leader receives two hits for the price of one.

Leaders are accountable and excuse making is a feeble attempt to deny accountability. Leaders who offer excuses fail to realize the long-term effect of accountability dodging.

Consider this response to a failed project or missed goal:

"It was my responsibility. We didn't achieve the goal. I learned that we should have been more aggressive in the first two weeks of the month. We put a new system in place to help us start better next month. I will get back to you with a report mid-month to track our progress."

The response of this leader:

  • demonstrates that the team's failure is the leader's point of accountability. 
  • demonstrates awareness of the goal. It's important to coach back to goals.
  • presents a plan to move forward. A leader of leaders isn't looking for blame but rather, a plan to reach goals.
  • demonstrates a shorter term of accountability. When things aren't going well, shorter accountability checkups are comforting to all.
  • demonstrates to all concerned, the leader is at the helm and is aware of the necessary course correction.

The heart of a leader cries out for a team that welcomes accountability and is quick to adjust the skills needed to reach goals.



Today's Scripture

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my concerns, and see if there is any rebellious way in me, and lead me in the ancient way" (Ps. 139:23-24).



Platform Tip No. 48

Don't shy away from frequent delivery of your message. Your core audience wants to hear more. People with needs crave information.

You also build trust as you deliver your message with frequency.

Keep showing up.



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Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's newsletters.

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