The difference between excuse and execute

What is the difference between excuse and execute?

execute No Excuses

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There has been so much written, researched and presented about what makes a great leader. There will continue to be a focus on this important topic as great leaders will continue to be needed in all areas.

My focus for this post is one of the main concepts that I have seen and experienced when it comes to leading. There is no question that those leaders who stand out are the ones that not on achieve results but often exceed expectations. This is often a direct result of being accountable and taking action or in other words it they clearly understand the difference between excuse and execute.

To make a quick and simple comparison between these two words let’s take a look at their general definition:

Excuse is an attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.

Execute is the carrying out or putting into effect of a plan, order, or course of action.

After reviewing these two definitions it hopefully starts to become quite obvious what makes a great leader. They are the ones that focus on execution and not excuses. They are the ones that realize that nothing happens until a plan is decided upon and action is taken. When challenges present themselves, they don’t look for a way out but rather they look for a way to overcome and press forward. This is not always easy but it is worth it to achieve success.

I have mentioned many times that leaders come in many shapes and sizes. To be a leader you do not need some corporate title but rather the ability to set an example, influence others and get positive results. This comes from eliminating excuses and focusing on execution.

I want to share an incredible example of this with the man called The Iron Cowboy aka James Lawrence. If you have not heard about him, you will. Let me share with you why.iron cowboy.JPG

James is a goal driven individual who is focused on execution while eliminating excuses, no matter how easy it might be to have legitimate reasons to quite.

The Iron Cowboy accomplished something that has never been done before; he completed 50 Ironman Triathlons in 50 consecutive days in 50 states. You read that correctly, he traveled to every state and completed an Ironman Triathlon. What is an Ironman Triathlon?

You start by swimming 2.4 miles, then you bike 112 miles and finish by running a full marathon, 26.2 miles. Not sure about you but I am tired just reading that. So he did this 50 times which means he swam a total of 120 miles, biked a total of 5,600 miles and ran 1,310 miles, not to mention the fact that he was traveling to every state. Now you can clearly see that if there was anyone who might have a legitimate reason to find excuses not to finish, it would be The Iron Cowboy. However, he was 100% focused on execution of his plan.

In speaking with James about his experience completing this monumental goal he would mention that quitting was never an option. He had set a goal and was going to accomplish it no matter what. His focus was on the overall impact that what he was doing would have on others, not necessarily himself.

Were their legitimate reasons or excuses that he could have used to stop, you decide:

  • He averaged around 4 to 5 hours of sleep a nightexcuses
  • In some of the states he had to accomplish all 3 components of the triathlon in a gym due to weather
  • He feel asleep on his bike and wrecked
  • His feet were often torn up and bloody
  • He had flat tires
  • He was stopped by the police

resultsYou can clearly see that most people would have allowed any one of these cause them to stop but James did not. He was focused on execution. He knew that what he was doing was helping to inspire others in so many different ways. I love hearing him talk about how there was almost a reciprocal motivation happening with each race. He was inspiring others to come out and not only support him but join him and as people came out, he was motivated to keep going.

I have learned so much from watching and talking with James and IJames. I have seen first hand how his ability to maintain focus on execution instead of finding excuses makes all the difference in the world. Amazing things can happen when we commit to our goals which is just one reason James is not just a great leader but what I would call a Hero Leader.

His continued focus on execution is evident as he continues to inspire others every day. He will be the first to tell you that there is no such thing as a good excuse, it is still an excuse. He will then say something to the effect of, set a goal and then do whatever it takes to achieve that goal, otherwise, execute.

If you would like to learn more about James “The Iron Cowboy” Lawrence, check out the links below.

I am honored to call him a friend and a great example of a Hero Leader.

Thanks James for being a

hero [Converted]

Links

http://www.ironcowboy.co/story/

http://www.success.com/article/the-most-enduring-man-in-the-world

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/12/28/triathlete-completes-50-straight-ironman-races.html

http://www.esquire.com/sports/a40363/the-iron-man-james-lawrence/

Quotes-Do they really mean anything?

Often times we see people share quotes. It seems to be all the craze with Social Media right now and I am one who has made a regular part of communication and touch points with different audiences. So what do these quotes really mean? Well, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes and why I like them so much. Let’s get started:quotemarks

Quote#1

“The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at the best, know the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

thinking questin markMy thoughts:

To me there is so much within these profound words of the great president Theodore Roosevelt. I guess one main reason I like this quote so much is that it can be applied in almost every situation. I know that having spent quite a bit of time in leadership roles professionally, religiously and in other areas of my life, this quote has always come to my mind. At the end of the day, the credit truly does need to go to those who are making great things happen every day. Whether you are a parent, teacher, leader, professor, whatever role you want to list, think about how this quote might change the way you see others. For parents, your teenagers are in a serious battle, every day, they are in the arena trying their hardest to do good, are you giving them the credit for their efforts or are you always looking for what’s wrong? Just something to think about. I know as a parent I can lose sight of just how blessed I am to have teenagers who strive every day to do good. This quote helps me remember that and do all I can to be there should the slip and fall.

Quote #2

“Life is about adding value to other people’s lives.” Lou Holtz

My thoughts:

I love these short but sweet quotes. There is a ton of meaning in these few words. I was actually attending an event where Coach Holtz was speaking and heard him share this and it pierced my heart. I can remember the feelings I had about how this had been my goal throughout my life but he stated it in such an effective way. I can honestly say that this quote was truly a turning point for me. It has helped me to push forward in trying to set myself up to truly add value to other people’s lives. So what do you think about his quote? It is important that this not be applied just to one’s professional life. Think about what your life is made up of, now how does this quote relate to you? The last thing that made such a profound impact on me was that these words of a college football player who truly believed and lives these words. He wanted to add value to the young men he coached. He walked the talk. I am trying every day to do the same.

So there are just two examples of how quotes can be used for more than just nice Tweets, Intsagram pics, Facebook Status, etc. I will share more of these in the future as I liked the exercise of reflecting upon these words.

Time to go add value.

Passion vs Paycheck

Given current economic conditions, it’s no surprise that many people are considering returning to college or a change in careers. AsPassion vs Paycheck some who has spent the past 13 plus years in higher education, I naturally endorse this strategy of looking to return to school or wanting to go into a career you are passionate about. The issue becomes the inability to focus on the right things to achieve ones ultimate goals, doing what they are passionate about. Here are some steps to take to help ensure you chase your Passion not just a Paycheck.

  1. The first thing to do is spend more time thinking about your interests than you do thinking about money. That sounds counter-intuitive  but returning to college or changing your job has to be about more than chasing a paycheck. It’s been said that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. So finding and following your passion is time well spent.
  2. If you are not sure where your passion would take you let alone what it may be, then sit down with pen and paper and make a list: things you like to do in your free time, different talents or skills that come easily to you, people whom you admire, subject areas and classes you enjoyed while growing up, topics you relish reading about and people you prefer to be around. The answers you provide to these questions will sharpen your focus. 
  3. After you have identified a career path that not only uses some of your strengths but one that also engages you in the type of activity and thinking that you most enjoy, meet and interview people currently working in that field. In some cases, they may let you shadow someone in their office. As you evaluate your options, consider both the positive and the less attractive aspects of the desired industry. For instance, if you like helping people, you might be inclined toward healthcare; but think about how you will respond to sick or sad people on a daily basis.
  4. It’s important to determine what you are willing to sacrifice in order to do what you are passionate about. So ask yourself: can I devote the time and energy necessary to be a successful?  Will I set priorities, budget my time and money and impose discipline in my life? Once you have decided what you are willing to sacrifice, time to create your plan.
  5. Don’t let any opportunity slip away where you don’t set goals for yourself. This is especially true as you are looking to make changes in your career future. Your goals should lead you down a path where you are following your passion. The longer you chase a paycheck, the less time you have to do what you really want. Money is important and needs to always be a apart of your formula for success but don’t to get caught up making it the only focus.

As you stay focused and determined, you will achieve the success you truly dream of. It will not be easy and the reality is, it shouldn’t be. You want to feel rewarded and accomplished. This can happen with greater peace, happiness and joy as you are allowing yourself to do what you feel you can do best and are most passionate about.

Now, go make something great happen!