The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


No Excuse…

“Sorry I’m late.  My meeting ran over.”  “No, I didn’t get a chance to review your CRM notes.”  “I can’t join you on the WebEx, I’ve dialed in from my cell phone.”  “Yes, that’s me typing in the background – give me a moment, I’m just sending a quick email.”  “Please excuse me – I need to leave early for another meeting.”

Late; unprepared; multi-tasking; mobile; double-booked.  Welcome to the 21st Century.

Perhaps it should be of no surprise that according to one research report, 79% of sales reps in the Software-as-a-Service marketplace did not attain their assigned quota in 2013; 79%!  (See xactly)

Today, there is no lack of professionalism displayed by Sales Professionals.  Arriving late; leaving early; being unprepared; not returning calls or emails.  (By the way, these behaviors are not unique to sales people, true?)  And when called out on such unprofessionalism – excuses flow – see paragraph one.  What’s that?  Life is tough so everybody else does it too?

Life is difficult.  This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we know that life is difficult – then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. 

M. Scott Peck

Make sense to you?  Ahh, trick question: if it makes sense, then you have no excuse.

I believe as a Sales Professional, it is our role to maintain professionalism in spite of any unprofessionalism by those around us.  Easy to say – hard to do.  Yet the problem with bad behavior on the part of one Sales Professional is it casts aspersions on all Sales Professionals in our profession, don’t you agree?  Yep, trick question: if you agree, then you have no excuse.

Ever notice when someone you’re interacting with makes a mistake; they often serve up an immediate excuse?  “Gary, it wasn’t my fault because (insert story de jour…).”  Rather than simply admitting the mistake; apologizing for any inconvenience; and offering to do better going forward, we hear about their medical condition, their children’s problems at school, their financial stress, their boss is a jerk, etc.

Difficulty may stimulate excuses from others; but as Sales Professionals we must follow Edward R. Murrow’s guidance:

Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts.

And I know the folks I work with are telling the truth.  I know this because when I’m going through the exact same circumstances I’d like to succumb to the difficulties of the day too; become equally unprofessional; make excuses.  But what can one do about it?

Well, to stop such temptation, I find retreating to loud; head-banging; heavy metal music seems to help.   Thank God for Pandora!  Here’s one example from my favorite Friday band – Five Finger Death Punch:

Everybody hurts

     Everybody bleeds…

          Everybody pains

              Everybody grieves…

Can you relate to head bangers?  You got it, trick question: if you can, then you have no excuse.

Yes, it is the 21st Century.  And in this modern world everybody multi-tasks; works extended hours; has stress at the office; pressures at home; and clients that can be jerks (sometimes our managers too).  But we overcome these difficulties, because in the words of Abraham Lincoln:

The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.

Does Abe’s reasoning resonate with you?  Beware – trick question: if it does, then you have no excuse.


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.



  1. Jim Anderson
    Aug 20, 2014

    Gary- The M. Scott Peck quote has been the turning point for the better in many folks lives. Thanks for reminding us.

    • Gary
      Aug 23, 2014

      Thanks for the reinforcement Jim! Gotta go now – running late for a meeting 🙂 Thx, GAP

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