Want To Be a Great Leader? Erase This Sentence From Your Vocabulary

How many times have you heard someone say something like “it’s not my fault, this or that happened”? I hear it everyday, and you do too. I have a very close friend who I nicknamed “The King of Excuses”, because he always has an excuse for anything.

And when it comes to work related activities, you just don’t know what to expect from him.

He isn’t the only person in the world that makes excuses, it’s a common occurrence since excuses are as common as night and day. But great leaders understand that it’s all our fault, they approach everything with an active mindset; not a passive one.

From Farnamstreet on active vs passive mindset:

  • The passive mindset is defined by an attitude, an assumption that life happens to you and you’re not responsible.
  • An active attitude means ownership. You own your failures. An active mindset means you are responsible for things you control.

Leadership begins when you take ownership of outcomes.

Own the outcome

One of the best compliments I’ve ever received came from an old client of mine when I started my first business. A year ago or so I looked him up again to say hello and catch up, got to talk about my current venture and said he wanted to experiment with the technology. In one of our meetings during a conversation he me gave me this compliment: I trust you wholeheartedly because you take on responsibilities and own them as if they are yours.

I appreciated him telling me this because it confirmed what I’ve always done: lead my clients / customers, not just pleased them.

Everyone wants the big title next to their name, but only a handful truly embrace the responsibilities that come with being a leader. Making excuses is not part of a leader’s job, nor is it to pass the blame to someone else.

With that said, if you’re going to make an excuse along the line of “it’s not my fault our client is pissed off because we missed the deadline again, the tech team needed more time!”. Say something like, “sorry, I should’ve anticipated certain things happening and included them in my plan; it won’t happen again.”

Big difference!

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, your path to being a great leaders starts when you stop making excuses and own what you can control.