“You’ve either got the results you say you want, or you have reasons to explain why not. Developing a rigorous and honest relationship with results moves you powerfully toward creating extraordinary results.
Reasons and results both take time. One is an investment in continuous momentum, and the other stalls us in our tracks.”
As business leaders, we owe it to ourselves, our businesses, and our teams to create an excuse-free environment. Excuses rot a business from the inside out.
In the past we’ve all made excuses. I’ve made my fair share over my lifetime, but they never got me anywhere. When we make an excuse, we close the door to finding solutions to the challenges we face.
From late 2019 through to mid-2020, I lost 18 kilos. Those kilos were self-inflicted, the result of bad food choices over time.
I could say that I was genetically predisposed to getting fat, that I was busy and didn’t have time to eat right, that I was big boned, or that they were ‘Covid Kilos’, but that would have kept me fat.
Here’s the truth: for too long, I put too much of the wrong food down my throat.
No excuses. It’s on me.
Acknowledging that was the first step, which opened me up to doing something about it. Eat smaller portions of the right food and move my body more.
In many areas across Australia and New Zealand, the market is shifting from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market. When markets shift, so can salespeople’s results. Listings take longer to sell, buyers are fussier, offers harder to extract, and even harder to get sellers to accept. Have you ever noticed that salespeople are happier when they’re making sales?
When (not if) the market shifts, morale can change in an office. This can create an environment where excuses flourish.
If leaders allow it, salespeople will blame the market instead of their failure to train around the skills they must develop for the new market. They will blame buyers for being fussy, sellers for being greedy. Excuses, excuses, and no solutions to get results being sought.
Leaders must be on guard and stamp on excuses as soon as they hear them. They must also not make excuses themselves.
I found myself in a position of talking with leaders about this recently. These leaders made excuses for their team’s poor performance – echoing the excuses given to them by their salespeople.
Excuses are contagious! Instead of looking at why their people were not making sales, wouldn’t these leaders do better if they looked for ways to overcome the challenges of the new market?
Can their salespeople set healthy targets and plan how to achieve them?
Can their salespeople prospect more?
Can the office do more marketing for listings?
Can their salespeople hone their listing presentations, adjusting them to the new market?
Can their salespeople train how to ask sellers to reposition their prices?
If so, what’s preventing them from doing so?
All leaders can create an excuse-free environment, if we call out excuse-mongering when we detect it and then focus on solutions.
This is a very profitable activity for leaders to do, and you do your team members a great service.