Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Excuse, Sir!

Just wanted to take a minute to tell you about a great read I have added to the carousel today. I am about half-way through the book on my Kindle and just loving it!

It's called "No Excuse Leadership: Lessons from the U.S. Army's Elite Rangers" and was written by a classmate of mine, Brace Barber. Here's the link to his site:


(gotta love the domain name grab, eh!?!)

Brace has hit the nail on the head with this one. The main premise of the book stems back to the four responses we were taught as the only acceptable answers for a Plebe at West Point: "Yes Sir!" "No Sir!" "No Excuse, Sir!" and "Sir! I do not understand!"

Think about living your life for one year and those being the only words you could utter to your boss...or anyone with authority over you. In simple terms, that's what we were required to do for the duration of Plebe year. In their base simplicity, they helped us to revise our paradigms of personal responsibility and develop a foundation for becoming pretty darn good leaders.

You see, if you just think of your "reasons" and "explanations" in the terms of "Excuses," it give you a whole new perspective on just how often you justify your own short comings and failures as "Not really my fault." That is not the position a leaders takes. A leader is accountable for his actions and decisions, regardless of how they turn out. You can delegate responsibility, i.e. who actually has to pull the trigger, but you cannot, as a leader, delegate the accountability, i.e. who sent him out to shoot and gave him the instruction as to what to shoot at!

Read the book. If you are a grad, you will have a deep understanding already and this will be an affirmation of all we have been taught. If you are not, you will gain some insight into the lessons taught in two of the most intense crucibles for leadership development: West Point and the US Army Ranger School.

Great job, Brace!

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