The Dog Ate My Homework

I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. I…was…abducted by aliens and held for a week…yeah, that’s it, I was kidnapped. I don’t know about you, but I’m not too keen on people who always have an excuse. When I work with one of my business coaching clients, and all I get is excuses from them, it doesn’t take very long to suggest that this explanation is unacceptable. In other words, stop making excuses and tell me the truth.

When you make a mistake (and I’ve made some world-class doozies), I’ve learned that the best and easiest way to deal with it is to face up to it. Admit it. Then instead of making up a story about what happened, be truthful with yourself and those around you, then look for solutions, so the issue doesn’t happen again. Take the weight, no matter how tough or embarrassing it might be. But, in turn, learn to look for ways to attack the issue so it never happens again, and then refocus on the task ahead and get back to attack mode.

People will notice.

People will trust you when you’re known as a “no excuses” person, and the same people will seek you out for leadership roles due to your lack of excuses. People will want you on their team because you don’t make excuses. So, no matter how hard it is, make it a habit, step up and be accountable. Take your lumps. Learn from the experience! Keep your mouth shut and get the job done! You’re guaranteed to attract strong relationships along the way. And, if you become known for throwing people under the bus or not taking responsibility for commitments, that gets attached to your reputation and is hard to shake. People won’t trust you, and your career will stall quickly.

The dog ate my homework is just not acceptable in an entrepreneurial world. Remember that blame of any kind and excuses, no matter how creative, are not in a winner’s vocabulary. And excuses only make you look bad and hurt your dog’s feelings.

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