“Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” ~George W. Carver
”Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” ~Henry Ward Beecher
One of the biggest things that keep people from ascending the ladder of success is “whining”. Don’t whine, nobody wants to hear it, babies whine! Does anyone like that whiny, sniveling, loser??? And this behavior is not limited to the rank and file hourly employees, it also is exuded at the Executive ranks (we’ve all had THAT boss before).
There is a natural tendency to whine for several reasons, and we almost all struggle with it at some point. So what are the reasons and how do we stop ourselves? Here are the two biggest reasons for whining:
Excuses – The most common form of whining is in response to excuses. Comparisons, lack of resources, lack of training, acts of God, the alignment of the stars, etc, etc, etc. At some point you failed, and you try to come up with some excuse that is out of your control (and therefore eliminating any blame on you). Quite frankly, a great manager controls as many things as possible. If you are pleading with your superiors about all of the things that were out of your control, you are showing yourself in the worst possible light. Instead of whining, talk about the things you controlled, the things that went right, then discuss what occurred that went wrong, what you learned, AND what you will be doing about it.
Injustice/Unfairness – The most common way that this comes about is with double standards. We whine about how other managers or other departments get preferential treatment or aren’t held to as high of a standard as others. The question I have: Why are you focusing on things outside of your area of responsibility instead of focusing on improving your own operation? And trust me, your superiors are asking the same question. Keep your focus on your own area, and let your superiors worry about the other operations.
One of the best ways to show maturity and wisdom in your current position is to eliminate whining and replace it with insight. It is one of those things you will need to vigilantly battle, but one that will serve you extraordinarily well if you are successful.