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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Fear of No Excuses

This is a post I wrote on LinkedIn:

Let's face it, we all try to blame our troubles on someone or something else. The computer isn't working. FedEx, UPS, or the mail is running late. Traffic was terrible. The weather isn't cooperating. The roads are bad. The other department hasn't sent up the paperwork. And on and on.
I believe, though, that most of us secretly want to be able to blame someone or something else. It makes things easier for us in the short term, and allows us to avoid responsibility.
But, what if there were no excuses. The roads were fine, no traffic problems. everyone delivered on time, the computer is working fine. Now what? Now, there are no more excuses, no one else to blame. It's all up to you. You just have to do whatever your next action is. You have to file report, sign the document, make the decision. If you're right, it's great. Sometimes you get praise, but more than likely you get nothing. If you're wrong, you hear about it. Depending on how serious the problem is, you may be out of a job. Nevertheless, it's time to go forward. This is the part that scares people.
It can be scary to take responsibility for your own actions. I know I struggle with that. I have a replica of President Harry S Truman's sign on my desk: The buck stops here. I picked it up at the Truman presidential library in Independence, MO. It's a reminder to me that, no matter what happens, I need to take responsibility for what I do, or in some cases, what I don't do that I should do.
I will be the first to admit I'm not perfect at that, but I'm working on it. The fear of no excuses sometimes scares me. I remember that my greatest desire overcomes my greatest fear. My desire in some cases is simply to get this done and off my plate. So I take action, and prepare myself for the consequences. It actually takes away the fear, knowing that I have done all that I can do.
So if the fear of no excuses overwhelms you, just remember the sign: The buck stops here. Do what you can, and go forward.
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