Excuses Make Us Feel Better But Don’t Fix A Problem


For Leaders by far the easiest part of the role is to find excuses. They are everywhere.

  • “We have this major media crisis because of the insensitivity of a frontline staff member”
  • “You just can’t get good loyal staff anymore”
  • “We have to pull that program because of a lack of funding”
  • “My board wont listen”
  • “Its the government’s fault”

The truth is we don’t have to try too hard to find a good excuse for every failure. And the thing is a good excuse makes us feel better. Its the sweetener that takes the edge off the bitter taste of failure.

The problem, of course, is that organisationally, an excuse takes us no-where. It provides no remedy or solution.

So how do we overcome those feel good excuses?

A few years ago I came across a book by John Foppe called “What’s Your Excuse?: Making the Most of What You Have”. You may have read it, if not I highly recommend it to you. One quote from the book has really stuck with me and it is this:

“I have a basic message: every problem has some type of positive resolution. Avoid the excuses. Find the resolution. Run with it. And enjoy both the challenge of the struggle and the reward of the accomplishment”

My learning from this is that just a excuses can salve the emotions so too can finding a resolution. The big difference being with the latter, is that not only do you feel better for finding a great solution, but your Cause benefits enormously.

By Chris Gandy – Founder of Cause & Effective. We link exceptional subject matter experts with cause-based organisations that are making a positive social, cultural and environmental difference.

 Image: 123RF/Andrew Grossman

About B-Cause

B-Cause is published by Cause and Effective. We help good causes find and attract effective leaders.

Thats our take on things. Over to you, please add to the discussion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s