4 Really LAME Excuses for Not Making Decisions


“Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The roads of life are paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.”

– Unknown

The most effective leaders in history have a lot of things in common. To name a few: a great work ethic, high moral and ethical standards, an understanding of the principle of accountability, the ability to assemble a team of close advisors, etc.

There are others that are sometimes overlooked. The most effective leaders aren’t afraid to make decisions. They don’t keep people in the dark regarding their decision-making process. They are transparent and forthright. Most of all, they don’t ignore the people who are expecting them to make decisions.

 Here are 4 of the lamest excuses that ineffective leaders use to avoid any semblance of making a decision.

I’m too busy – join the club! If you’re a leader, part of your job is to make decisions. So if you’re making time for all of the other stuff, you need to make time for decision-making as well. Enough said.

 The timing isn’t quite right – Human beings are imperfect. Therefore, we are unable to do anything perfectly. That includes making important decisions. If leaders continue to use this ridiculous excuse to “kick the can down the road,” what they’ll find is that the opportunity that they did have is now gone because they put it off while waiting for the “time to be right.”

It might not work – It might not. Plenty of decisions have been made and the results weren’t exactly what were expected. That’s life. That’s business. But if you want to be an outstanding leader, you must accept that part of your job is to make the decisions that you think are the right ones by analyzing the potential services or solutions, trusting your gut, and taking action. Many organizations are stagnant. They are rudderless. They merely exist. More often than not, one of the biggest reasons for these unfortunate situations is that there exists a crippling fear of doing anything different because “it might not work.” Leaders that continuously use this crazy excuse need to step aside and make room for people that aren’t afraid to take calculated risks.

We have too much going on right now – that’s a good thing! Would you rather have the alternative? It’s perfectly acceptable and necessary to prioritize tasks. However, once you’ve decided which projects are the priorities, it’s important to move on those. But what happens sometimes is that people use this lame excuse to avoid moving on anything. A lot of organizations conduct planning retreats after the summer to prepare for the next year. This is the perfect time to identify the strategic initiatives that are the priorities for the organization. Once identified and agreed upon, make sure to budget for the various action steps for each initiative. Will things “come up” that may need immediate attention? Of course! That’s why you also budget an appropriate amount of money and resources for those items. But you make every reasonable effort to not let this extra “stuff” get in the way with the existing priority list.

No more excuses! Trust your gut, rely on your experience, gather all of the pertinent information and then…..DECIDE!


EXCITING NEWS!!! My new book, “What’s In It For Me?” will be published shortly.  Keep an eye out for the announcement and help me “break” Amazon by purchasing a copy on the day it comes out!


About Your Full Potential, LLC

I am the President of Your Full Potential, LLC and the Founder of ABSURD! Leadership. I am a professional speaker and have addressed thousands of people throughout the United States and internationally on the topics of leadership, sales, service, business development, marketing, and strategy.
This entry was posted in Accountability, Building Relationships, Business Development, Business Process Improvement, Change, Conflict, Credit Unions, Decisions, Employees, Experiences, Gen X, Gen Y, Goal-setting, Human Resources, Innovation, Inspiration, Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Millennial, Motivation, Networking, Performance, Productivity, Professional Development, Strategic Planning, Succession Planning, Training, Trust, Value, WIFM, WIIFM. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 4 Really LAME Excuses for Not Making Decisions

  1. Pingback: Management/Leadership 4 really lame excuses for not making decisions | Diana L. Ascher

  2. Sean,

    Great post (as always!). In addition to the four items you listed I would add a fifth lame excuse: “it’s not in the budget” or “we don’t have enough budget for it.” The truth is that budgeting is often used an excuse; your organization probably has the money. Rather than allocate the necessary resources you CHOOSE not to spend the money. Budget is a choice, not an excuse.



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