Excuses vs. Decisions.
Excuses are emotional, preferential, and individual. Excuse makers look for a way out based on their need for security.
Decisions are intentional, relational, and cultural. Decision makers see the big picture when they are faced with adversity.
We tend to see these two foes square off when the chips are down, when a team is falling behind, or chaos of some sort has been ushered into their world.
Here is what they might sound like:
"I shouldn't have thought that, but..."
"I shouldn't have said that, but..."
"I shouldn't have done that, but..."
"I thought that because..."
"I said that because..."
"I did that because..."
Two words that mean more than we realize.
"But..." creates the excuse. "Because..." explains the decisions.
The teams that make excuses are uneasy and nervous when unchartered waters hit their boat. Their next move is often made based on how they are feeling in the moment. When emotions are running high, mistakes are made. Mistakes can be the breeding ground for...you guessed it...excuses. The recipe for a great excuse also adds in preference and individuality. Personal preference steers choices, as individuals fight to protect their image and place on the team. All of that adds up to people looking to divert attention to others, avoid taking responsibility, and find a way out of the discomfort. They are on constant look out for the fastest route to their personal security. To excuse makers, adversity isn't opportunity, it showcases their immaturity.
The teams that make decisions are steady and calm when rough ground is under their feet. They look around and calculate their next move based on who they are, where they are, and where they want to go. They knew they'd be in moments like this, and have prepared for it intentionally. Their next move is to honor the relationships that got them there...their leadership, their teammates, and the organization they are part of by making choices based on their core values...collectively. All of that combined has created who they are culturally. To decision makers, adversity isn't difficulty, it's opportunity.
1. Excuse makers are rattled when adversity hits, and cause a team to fracture.
2. Decision makers are committed to who they are and the big picture.
3. Healing a culture of fractures begins with a commitment to see the big picture.
4. The big picture is about building and honoring a healthy culture...with each choice.