Friday, October 30, 2015

No Excuse November!

For most of my life, November has been an excuse for me to grow out my beard. No matter the demands from my wife to shave it off, November has been and will always be No Shave November.  Now December...  That's another story for another day. 

Well, I'd like to add a new tradition to No Shave November and I'd like to call it this:

Let's be honest.  We make excuses when the going gets tough, but for the month of November, let's fight the urge to make excuses when things aren't going our way. Let's respond with courage when we would normally rationalize why something can't do accomplished. Below are a list of typical excuses that we could stop making during No Excuse November. 

  • We've never done that.
  • He can't learn.
  • He can't behave.
  • She won't do what we say.
  • They won't help us.
  • He won't listen to us.
  • We can't do that because (insert your excuse). 
  • We've always done it that way. 
  • We don't have enough (money, time, personnel, resources)
  • It's too much work.
  • It'll never work.

Let's Put the NO in November

There are 3 ways that we typically respond to excuses.  

  1. Agree - We verbally agree with the excuse and chime in to make it even more valid.  We do that when we're really fed up.  
  2. No Response - We validate someone else's excuse by saying nothing at all.  When we neither affirm nor confront an excuse, we silently validate that excuse and thus no reply is essentially agreeing that the excuse has merit and acceptable to the organization.
  3. Confront - The third and most courageous response to an excuse is to confront the excuse maker.  
Sure, it can be and is difficult to put someone in their place when they make an excuse.  So here are a few suggestions to courageously yet kindly embrace the No Excuse mindset.
  • Say, "Do you really mean that?"
  • Say, "Tell me why you feel that it couldn't be done."
  • Say, "Let's talk about that some more.  There may be another solution?"
  • Come up with reasons to argue against the excuse.
  • Show them how their excuse of "It'll never work" is false and can work.
Excuses are the defenders of the status quo.  They kill change, and they eviscerate visions.  The only way that excuses will ever be defeated is when more people develop a "No Excuse" mindset, and that starts when we collectively take a stance against making excuses every time something gets hard.  And what better month than November to say No More Excuses.

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