• Acknowledging my shortcomings and taking ownership in results, not blaming others
  • Accepting my responsibility to clients and colleagues and admitting my role in situation
  • Seeking accountability, focusing on self-improvement, and providing solutions

Medical professionals use structured methods to describe a diagnosis leaving a trail of communication that others can pick up and comprehend. We might begin to list off excuses with the same intentions – hoping to bring clarity or avoid confusion. But offering the details surrounding a bad situation does not solve a problem by itself.

Marginally helpful: I found out why your head hurts. You have a sinus infection.
Significantly helpful: Here is a prescription for your sinus infection.

Being less confused about why your head hurts may alleviate some stress if you discover that the problem is less serious than you imagined, but it offers little help to fix the problem. The process of defining the context and details of the problem really becomes ultimately valuable when we are focused on solutions.

Marginally helpful: Telling the FCC in an appeal that you couldn’t file your form on time because the Internet went down.
Significantly helpful: Filing your form on the WiFi at the local coffee shop and getting a killer latte.

Excuses may be the friend of saving face when expectations are not met and outcomes go off course, but they are the enemy of whatever progress we hope to make in the future. At Funds For Learning we pursue the GuideMark of Offer No Excuses not because we want to ignore problems, but because the solution is the ultimate goal.


Key Words and Phrases
Take ownership in outcomes, Agree to responsibility, Accept accountability, Provide solutions, Recognize failures, Acknowledge shortcomings, Focus on results not excuses, Admit mistakes.

Opposite Terms
Rationalize inferior work, Deny or justify a fault, Offer a pretext for failure, Provide self-justification.

GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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