Recently, during my morning routine, I was reflecting on two people who have had an enormous impact on my life: Zig Ziglar, and his son-in-law (and former president of both Zig Ziglar’s company and Tony Jeary International) Jim Norman. Both men have passed away in recent years, and yet the influence they have over my life, my business and my thinking is as present and powerful as it’s ever been.
We had many discussions together over the years, about many different things. One of our favorite topics is “success.” What causes success? What leads to success? What are the most common traits of successful people? As you can imagine, among the three of us, we had observed many, many different aspects to this question.
Here are some characteristics we mentioned the most:
- Helping others win
I say all five of these traits are fundamental to success. Today, I want to add two words to the list that characterizes all of the successful people I’ve ever met:
I’m convinced, after years of reflection and discussions with both Zig and Jim, that the idea of a “No Excuses Factor” is foundational to success. It’s an attitude that often starts in the heart of an individual, and then grows to describe an entire team and permeate a culture.
What does “No Excuses” mean to you? What synonyms or phrases come to mind to help you define it?
For me, “No Excuses” means that nothing can separate me from what I’ve committed to. It means I don’t point fingers to other people or circumstances when I fall short of expectations. It means I take ownership in all that I do, and that I question every obstacle I come across.
So let me ask you again: what does “No Excuses” mean to you? Jot down a few lines that personalize this concept for yourself.
How To Strengthen Your “No Excuses Factor”
When it comes to a “No Excuses Factor,” how would you rate yourself?
When you look back on 2017, would you say your “No Excuses Factor” was higher than normal, or lower? Why? What caused it to be that way?
How do you want to improve it in 2018?
Here are some questions to walk through to help you pinpoint your “No Excuses Factor.” I encourage you to write down an answer to each question, on a scale of 1-10. Let this serve as your baseline for more in 2018.
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest) ….
- How well do you deliver on what you commit to?
Think in terms of deliverables, timelines, projects and, most of all, RESULTS.Leaders who can a) focus on delivering what’s important, b) create the margin that allows for excellence on the deliverables and c) give accurate updates and timelines stand head and should above the majority.
- How well do you own what you commit to?
When things get off track or fall short, are you accountable to it? Do you accept the ownership of the RESULTS even when they aren’t what you want them to be? Of your entire team?Leaders who own their work and the work of their team, no matter what, create high-performing teams and accountable cultures.
- How well do you capture ideas and requests on-the-go?
Do you write down your commitments? Do you have a system to daily process your commitments, and move them forward?I’m always impressed with people who pause to write something down so they don’t forget it, even when it seems to be inconvenient. It shows they value the information, and they take their commitments seriously.
- How well do you communicate the status of your commitments?
Do you renegotiate timelines when things don’t go according to plan?While our goal should always be to estimate our projects accurately and do whatever it takes to make them happen, we all know that our plans can be impacted by so many variables we cannot control. The most impressive leaders are proactive and timely in communicating these changes, and they don’t wait for their client or customer to ask about it.
When I speak at events, I often refer to “squatters.” Squatters, I share, are people who hear something profound and valuable, and then they don’t do squat. They just sit on all of that valuable information that has the potential to create so many positive changes, and they choose to do nothing.
Squatters have lots of excuses to NOT do what they could do to become more.
Are you a doer? Or are you an “excuser”?
Clarity, Focus & Execution
The pillars of my Strategic Acceleration methodology are Clarity, Focus and Execution. They are all equally important, and yet they all play very different roles.
My experience has showed me that the world rewards execution more than anything else. The world is drawn to people with a high “No Excuses Factor,” because it inherently knows just how rare that person is.
I believe that’s what you are. That’s what I strive to be, and I continue to improve, year after year.
Cheers to exceptional RESULTS in 2018, both personally and professionally. As you refine your goals and resolutions for 2018, my hope and prayer for you is to become the best example of the “No Excuses Factor” to the people around you.