Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Excuser's Excuse

You sit and listen to a bright and well-meaning person making a multitude of excuses for the performance of an executive or manager. "He had a rough transition." "She had a lot on her plate." "The team wasn't completely supportive." "The budget was tight." "The requirements are cumbersome."

You listen, knowing all along that previous people in that job have faced the same or much worse challenges and they not only performed better, they performed extraordinarily well. They weren't just solid and competent leaders; they were transformational leaders who brought energy and high morale to the entire organization..

As the excuses pile up, you wonder what excuse the person making the excuses could possibly have for glossing over poor performance in this case but not in others.

That worries you more than the poor performer.


LA Grant said...

They're either in love or are a 'true believer.' Whichever is the reason, they have to provide top-cover to the narrative, which is: "Dammit, the Emperor DOES have clothes!"

(I know you're familiar with 'true believer'; I take my meaning from the title of Eric Hoffer's book.)

Michael Wade said...


I'm an Eric Hoffer fan!