• 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

She took the last-second shot that bounced off the basketball hoop rim and lost the game. He put salt instead of sugar in the cupcakes. They didn’t double check the Form 470 to ensure all desired services were listed before posting the form and only found out after the Form 470 deadline. 

Excuses often arise when something goes wrong. 

Sometimes our excuses are legitimate, but other times they’re said to cover up lack of concentration or a miscommunication. Regardless of what happened or who caused the issue, your E-rate Guides are dedicated to not giving you excuses, but solutions instead. 

One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of situations where excuses are not allowed is taking care of my health and wellbeing. If I eat too many cookies and have a stomach ache later there is no one else to blame, no excuse I can give, to avoid taking responsibility for my actions.

Let’s face it, we naturally want to deflect responsibility when something goes wrong. Taking the blame for a mistake hurts our pride and it can hurt our reputation, but wouldn’t offering an excuse be worse because it speaks to our character?

We are now in the calm after the storm of the FY2019 Filing Window and USAC’s review of Form 471 applications is in full swing. Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) inquiries may be sent out and shed light on a mistake – big or small – that was made during the submission of the application. Let’s work to diminish the number of excuses that may arise from these PIA inquiries, and instead take ownership of our actions, focus on what can be improved, and provide a solution. 


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

Copyright © 2019 Funds For Learning, LLC. About the Funds For Learning GuideMarks.

Previous GuideMarks​​