382 | No Excuses – Increasing Your Leadership Impact

What happens when you have a “No excuses” way of leadership. Well, first it changes everything. It also depends on you. You must be able to take full ownership of your work, projects, goals, and the process. No excuses are also more than just you. It is creating a culture that is not willing to accept excuses from anyone. I share with you some insights about how you can create a No excuses way of leadership. I do share a story from Kyle Porter, CEO of SalesLoft, about his realization that he has no one to blame but himself when a key performer leaves his company. Discover what Kyle did that is so different than most leaders.

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Increasing Your Leadership Impact: The Transcript

What do you think about excuses? You’ve probably gotten excuses every time you go into a meeting where things aren’t going the way you expect them to go. Your team comes back with, we didn’t have the time, we didn’t have the resources, we didn’t have the technology, we didn’t have the money. You’ve probably heard every excuse in the book.

You’ve probably even made some of those excuses in your growth to being a leader in the company. But what is your relationship with excuses? Do you accept that excuses are allowed in your meeting, in your culture? Because if you accept it and you tolerate it, then you will get it over and over again. I’ve struggled with this in growing my businesses in the past, where I didn’t really understand how to really handle those excuses. I would listen to them, I would take them in, I’d be empathic, but I also wasn’t really being the leader that I needed to be.

Now if you can relate to that, then I want you to really understand what you can do about it inside this video. Hi, my name is Gene Hammett, I study hypergrowth companies. I look at the top 1% of growth across all of companies and I really wanna understand exactly what it takes for them to grow. And I share those insights back through this message, but it also worked on the front lines with my clients, on hypergrowth and I’ve actually delivered hypergrowth through my companies back in the early 2000s. So, what do you do about excuses?

If you’re sitting in a room, in that meeting and you continuously accept those excuses coming in, you will not get what you want out of your team. They will think it’s okay for them to give you an excuse when something’s not delivered. And the reason excuses come up is because it’s so easy to point to someone else or something else, than take ownership of what you do. I choose that word specifically because ownership is a part of my brand. It has come from all of the work I’ve done with the hypergrowth companies, the fastest growing companies and leadership that inspires people to take ownership or feel like they’re owners in the company, really goes beyond responsibility. So one story that I wanna share with you about this, it comes from SalesLoft.

SalesLoft is one of the fastest growing companies on the Inc. 5000 and one of the best places to work in Atlanta through a SaaS based company, they’re doing some amazing stuff. They have over 300 employees and they’re growing really quickly, so that number changes almost daily. What happened was after this company had been going for a while, the CEO, his name is Kyle Porter, had gotten notice that one of his high performers was leaving to another CEO, another company. And he thought for a second, you know, I should be mad at my friend for taking away my people.

But then, he really reflected on that moment, he said, you know, I’m making an excuse about something and I can’t make excuses, I have to take full ownership that I am responsible for what this culture is and why people wanna leave.

Got a little tongue-tied right there. But Kyle wrote about this on LinkedIn and I saw so many people pored in about how could he think that way? Many people thought, oh, that’s great leadership. And I wrote about it for Inc. Magazine, if you want the full article, just go to genehammett.com/salesloft and it’ll take you right into this article, but it really is something that you wanna think about. Are you, yourself, taking responsibility or taking ownership of what needs to happen?

Or are you making excuses? Because if you make excuses, your team will make excuses. Now, all of this comes back to what kind of culture do you wanna build? If you wanna build a culture that’s a competitive advantage, you wanna make sure that you are not accepting these excuses and it starts with you. Well, one tool I wanna give you inside of all this is something that you can use in your next interview with someone if you wanna get to the fact of will I be hearing a lot of excuses down the road? And I wanna give you think one question, but it takes a set up. So it’s kind of a two-part question if you will.

The first part is tell me about a big goal that you wanted to hit but you didn’t make it? And once they tell you about the goal, you can ask them and here’s the key question, why didn’t you make it? If they quickly blame someone else or something else, then they are not the kinda person that’s going to take responsibility or ownership, if you will, of the opportunities inside your company.

That means if you give them a big project or a big task, big strategy to lead with, they’re going to come up with those excuses. Now, in that interview, it’s just one view of them but you can get an idea of two parts of that question. One, where do they wanna grow?

What kind of goals are they setting? And are they thinking big enough? It’s okay to think really big, I think. Or are they thinking too small? That’s not the best person for you either. But the second piece and the most important, is that why didn’t you hit it? You’re looking for them to blame someone or something else.

Let’s wrap this video up with this if you want to blame someone else and this doesn’t matter who it is, your team or whatever it may be. If they want to blame someone else, they are giving the power of the something else to fix it. They are giving the power to something outside of themselves when I believe it’s inside you if you wanna fix things in your life if you want to improve your life, it’s up to you, you have to take ownership of that.

That’s what I’ve seen work across the board in high-performance companies, leaders and even in my own world, my own team. Is, you want to make sure that you’re doing this on a consistent basis, you are making sure that you call someone on their excuses and you gotta make sure that when you hear that excuse, you zero in on it, you ask some questions to make them see that it’s their responsibility. And if you go beyond that, are they willing to take ownership to fix that, to improve it?

That’s my take here, this is a hypergrowth tip. I share these all the times, once a week, with you to help you grow your company, become the leader that you wanna be and to be a fast growth company. If you have any questions about fast growth, if you wanna talk about this and the hypergrowth, make sure you reach out to me, just let me know and I’ll talk to you soon, bye.



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