No Excuse Leadership

Estimated reading time: 1 mins

Below is a link to a great article that discusses No Excuse Leadership, which I think you should read. Why? Well I think it discusses an important aspect of leadership (and I stress leadership and not management) – creating a vision that inspires an organization to break down resistance to change and to set behavioral standards.

The article delves into how excuses are used to avoid change in an organization, particularly in the public sector, and they are often a behavioral norm. How often do you hear in a meeting that something won’t work because because because? Listen during your next few meetings to see if you spot a pattern.

Excuses cripple innovation and progress in business and in organizational performance. Its a way of giving up without even trying. Sometimes the reasons given for not changing are out of date or invalid, but the excuse goes unchallenged.

Its true (in my experience) that technical functions are the most excuse-driven. So much is invested in tools, technologies and methods (especially in the skills and know-how of staff) that change is resisted and excuses positioned as battlements. It feels strange that the organizational functions who are most adept at delivering innovation in the business are inept in delivering innovation in their own department.

I think the key to resolving this is in the article. As excuses are offered, a leaders role is to ask how the objective can be reached whilst overcoming the excuse. Put the ball back in the court of the person with the excuse – they’re probably best positioned to know how to overcome it. By playing on their pride you may create the necessary motivation to overcome the excuse, especially if, in conjunction, you articulate a compelling vision of what is being created. Overcoming excuses is a behavior that should be embedded into an organization for it to become innovative.

The link:


About the author /

Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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