The “No Excuse” Zone

How would your life be different if you did not have to tolerate any more excuses from yourself or from others? Imagine living an excuse free life. Who would you be? What would you do? What could you achieve? How could you profoundly affect others? It is your choice as to whether you tolerate excuses.

So, what is an excuse? It is a reason or the “why”   something did not get done. It is the story or justification of why an obligation was not met. It’s the rationalization of why a promise or commitment was not kept.

Are there legitimate reasons, stories, justifications and rationalizations as to why something could not get accomplished? That is for you to decide. Your decision may depend on what side of the excuse you are on. If you are providing the excuse it may seem justified. If you are on the receiving end, perhaps there is no justification that is good enough because of perceived damages incurred. Just remember it works both ways and is just an evaluation of each party involved. The point here is not if the excuse is justified. Any excuse will suffice. The point is something did not get done that was expected to be done.

The upset is in the set up. Most environments or cultures that are mired in mediocrity are swirling in excuses. Excuses are made possible from the following

  • Agreements and expectations have not been clearly defined.
  • Progress check-ins are not scheduled in advance; nor are they adhered to if they are in place.
  • Strategies for recalibration or re-negotiation for getting back on track are not established in the beginning.
  • People don’t feel safe asking for help or admitting they don’t have the knowledge, skill or will to do something as it becomes apparent.
  • There is no process for using missed deadlines and failed attempts as learning opportunities to improve performance.
  • Excuses are tolerated and people are therefore not aware they are performing sub par .


To experience the benefits of playing in the no excuse zone, become a leader that can:

  • Set clear expectations around what success looks like with defined milestones.
  • Establish regular check points to track progress and discover potential bottlenecks.
  • Create a safe environment that provides constructive feedback and is dedicated to learning and growing.
  • STOP tolerating excuses. Use situations as opportunities to teach and coach the people you lead; including yourself.

If you would like to discover how to be more “leaderful” and develop a mentor mindset, on behalf of the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Wellness Center and the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, I would like to invite you to a Leadership Infusion workshop from 3:30pm – 5pm this Wednesday the 27th being held at the SNMH outpatient conference center (Building 3). Call the SNMH Wellness Center (530) 274-6124 to register.

Make it up, make it fun, and make it happen!

Best-selling author, Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC,CCSC, is a certified business coach with ProAdvisor Coach and the Leadership Institute in Grass Valley, CA. He helps business professionals gain more clarity and confidence to perform more effectively in their zone of brilliance.