The mantra of a personal responsibility seminar* I took many years ago has stayed with me:

Not doing something –plus a really good excuse — does not equal doing something.
Think of how often we act as if a good reason should be accepted and excuse the fact that the required behavior was not accomplished.
> I was late — because of traffic — does not equate to being on time.
> I did not finish the project — because my computer crashed — does not equal doing the project.
> I need an extension on my car payment — because I had to buy a new water heater — does not equal paying when due.
> I did not do what you asked — because I did not understand what you meant — does not equal meeting your obligation.
I was faced with this situation recently when my delayed flight caused me to miss my connection.  I had two choices:  call the people I was presenting for the next day and tell them my travel dilemma or get there.  They would have certainly understood, but I willingly chose to drive 3.5 hours to be present when the meeting started in the morning.
The excuse is often the easy way out, but you’ll feel better if you do what you’ll say you’ll do, even when it’s not easy to make that equation happen.

— beth triplett

*by Landmark Education

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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