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How to Win

Stop Excuses and Start Success

If you compete, at the end of the day you will have one of two things: results or reasons.

You will either have produced something, or you will have an excuse as to why not.

Furthermore, at the end of the day you will be known by one of those two things: results or reasons.

You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t want results. What’s the best way to get them?

The best way to get results is to stop giving reasons. Put them out of your mind, out of your vocabulary.

Said hockey Hall of Famer Mark Messier, “The minute you start making excuses, you have one foot in the grave.”

In this article called “Terrible Excuses from Terrible Bosses,” Jeff Haden rebuts many of the top ways that leaders rationalize. They apply to leaders of all kinds: coaches, teachers, executives.

Haden, a columnist with Inc. Magazine, begins with this one:

“My employees work better when I leave them alone.”

Haden’s answer: If that’s true, you’re the problem.

Great employees don’t need (or want) to be told what to do, but they do need to hear they do a great job, to learn about new directions or strategies… everyone likes some amount of attention.

Just make sure the attention you give makes a positive impact.

Whether you’re the boss or the employee, the coach or the player, the teacher or the student, something on Haden’s list will apply to you.

Pick out one and focus on it for a week.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a startup or trying to win the Masters, whether you’re CEO of a Fortune 500 company or pursuing the Stanley Cup or the NCAA title.

Pick out one item from Haden’s list, focus on it for a week, and you’ll find that you are closer to results than to reasons.

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Thank you for visiting Total Game Plan. While you’re here, you can find many other articles to help you reach your potential.

How to Survive Your Sports Season” is an invaluable resource to help you with the highs and lows of practice and competition.

To improve at anything, check out “The Improvement Factor: How Champions Turn Practice into Success.”

Need some motivation? Everyone needs it now and then. Open any page of “Thank God You’re Lazy! The Instant Cure for What’s Holding You Back” for a story or a quote to lift your spirits.

Are you a sports coach? Here’s “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” by Mike Tully and Gary Pritchard.


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