The Excuse Virus

America and perhaps the whole planet has been struck by the excuse virus. It doesn't matter if it's:

  • A CEO saying "I didn't know."
  • Financial analysts saying "We didn't think it would get this bad."
  • Employees saying: "It's not my fault" or "I can't because someone won't let me: my boss, my coworkers, my staff, my suppliers, my customers."

Everyone seems to expect the government or management or someone to bail them out from their own stupidity. When you make excuses, you're telling yourself that you have no power or control. Is that really what you want to be telling yourself?

Take Responsibility For Your Choices

In the fall of 2007, I thought the market was too high, but did I sell? Nope. I chose not to. Of course, I thought about selling when the market was at 13,000, but it went up another 1,000 points. And I've lived through a number of downturns. The market recovers. So I turned my attention to running my business. I'm responsible for letting my investments ride the market downward, not CNBC or Money magazine or anyone else. I am. 

Many industries are in trouble, especially the auto industry. Qwest, the company that I worked at for many years, is in trouble. They keep losing wired lines to wireless. As employees, we keep expecting our company to grow, earn more money and pay more and provide more benefits. Unions turn this into a fight with management. 

You can't move forward by looking in the rear view mirror. If you lose sight of the customer and their needs by focusing inward instead of outward, it's easy to become a dinosaur. Only satisfied customers can make a business grow. 

The government says they want to buy from more small businesses, but they've erected an impenetrable maze of bureaucracy that prevents small businesses (which create most of the new jobs in the U.S.) from easily getting into the GSA. I know; I've been trying for six months.

Here's My Point

People have a nasty habit of ignoring watchdogs economic or otherwise. "Let the good times roll," we say. When everyone you know is buying a bigger house on a salary they expect to get bigger every year, the writing is on the wall. When employees say that the underlying technology is changing and we need to change with it, don't turn a deaf ear; listen up. 

If you bought a house that's too expensive or bought an investment that sounded too good to be true or the company you work for is in trouble, look no farther than your own skull. You have made decisions to act or not act that have helped lead us to the precipice. 

Take back control. Take responsibility. What are you going to do now to start making it better for all of us?

To learn more about how to debug and upgrade your mental software, order my new book, Debug Your Mental Software

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2008-2024 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, 888-468-1537, ."