Are Excuses Ruining Your Career and Life?

Yesterday, my wife confronted me about my chronic lateness issue when dropping off my teenage daughter at school everyday.

She told me, “My teenager is freaking out, because she doesn’t have enough time to get to class every morning.” I launched into an explication of distances, travel times, traffic, school ACTUAL start and end times — the works.

She understood one thing: I was making excuses for my behavior and not owning the impact on my daughter or the added stress it was placing on my wife.

Like bread crumbs, I looked back over small and large events in my life, to see a long history of excuse making — on and off the job. I never truly stopped to consider what really happens inside and outside of me when I make an excuse:

It robs me of accountability, to self and others, critical for my growth as a person, professional, and leader responsible for results. This ends today — I’m better than this and so are you!


Marshall Goldsmith Interview with CUTV News — Part 5 — (7 min video at end of this article) — Marshall provides some sage words about being successful in our careers, leadership development, and our lives:

There is simply no excuse for making excuses at work — or anyplace else for that matter. If we can stop excusing ourselves, we can get better at almost anything we choose!

What You Should Know about Making Excuses at Work
By Marshall Goldsmith

There is simply no excuse for making excuses at work — or anyplace else for that matter.

When you’re late to an appointment and you hear yourself saying, “I’m sorry I’m late but the traffic was murder,” stop at the word “sorry.” Blaming traffic doesn’t excuse the fact that you kept people waiting.

You should have started earlier. You certainly won’t have to apologize for: “I’m sorry I’m early, but I left too soon and the traffic was moving along just fine.”

Marshall Goldsmith is a coaching luminary who has written countless articles and books on coaching and leadership excellence.

Today’s Take-Away

Here are a few key messages I gleaned from Marshall’s video interview:

  1. There’s no excuse for me making excuses.
  2. Excuses are eroding my credibility as a Dad, Coach, Leader, Collaborator, and Friend.

3. Excuses prevent me from embracing personal accountability necessary for explosive growth in my career and business.

4. My excuses hurt more people than it helps.

Are You an Excuse Maker Too?

If you are a mild to chronic excuse-maker, there’s hope for you too. I encourage you to look at the excuses you’ve made in the last 30 days.

Consider how your excuses have prevented opportunities for growth (no matter how scary or uncomfortable), personal accountability, and helping others — where you saw value in helping them or not (i.e. Going to meetings you think are a waste of time, Being on time, Showing up after realizing you really don’t want to be there, etc.).

If you owe people apologies, gulp, I do, then make them and move on. You and those depending on you deserve better from you — not your excuses.

If you want to continue your learning experience, you can do so in three ways:

  1. Take a free online life hacking course that will help you better manage your career and life (Free workbook — 7 weeks of video learning).

2. Get coaching support — today.

3. Subscribe to my Youtube Channel and this website for free tools, how-to, and other career and leadership life lessons

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Inspiration to help you change:

Have a Great Day!