If you’re a leader, or aspire to be one, I have a recommendation: Never use the excuse, “I didn’t get it done because I didn’t have the time.” That’s BS and everybody knows it! You’re the leader; if that’s your excuse, it becomes everyone’s excuse.
You had the time, like the rest of us. You’ve got 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and you don’t know when your time’s up…just like everybody else. The honest answer is, “I didn’t do it because I chose not to.” If you owe them an apology, apologize.
You decided how you’d spend your time. Own up to the decision you made. As the leader, you must show your followers what’s acceptable and what’s not; what’s a good reason to miss a deadline, and what’s not. You’ll be teaching them how to make decisions based on priorities.
People know time is a limited resource, and, therefore, we can’t do everything. As long as we address our priorities, we’re doing the best of our ability within life’s constraints.
When we offer excuses, it diminishes our position as leader. If we don’t use that excuse, others won’t be able to use it on us. Leaders lead. They lead by example.
The next time someone offers the excuse that they didn’t have the time, decide whether they’ve learned it from you. If they have, change your habit, and show them this excuse is unacceptable.
If you’ve shown them that way, then teach them a better way. Simply call them on it: Excuse me? You had the time, you decided to work on other things. Just own your decision.