Tag Archives: Excuses

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born or made

Born or Made, Is This What Defines Your Career?

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It has been a debate for a long time. Are people born with talent, skills, and abilities, or do they work differently, harder, and with enough persistence to attain a higher level. What about your career, is it born or made?

When we see a really old tree, we wonder how it weathered all of those years. The cycle of the seasons, unexpected weather conditions, predators, insects, and even a human with an axe. There is almost a level of respect for its survival. It wasn’t born this way, it was made across time.

It is similar for the athlete. A fit, slender, or muscular shape, a stride or walk that displays confidence, they weren’t born this way. Most people give respect, because they know that it took hours of hard work, a good diet, and the discipline to stick with it.

About Your Career

Some people wonder, is a skill, talent, or simple good fortune born to you, or is it made? Certainly, some families have achieved levels of financial wealth, political positioning, or Hollywood status that jumps starts the career of their offspring. This is true for very few.

For everyone else, the extra effort is required. Everyone has a story of shortcomings, being overlooked, passed over, and unrecognized for what they offer. Additionally, many of the most successful have a story of countless hours and gigantic sacrifices they made along the way.

Of course, we can’t forget the envious, those with the misfortune, diversions, or a lack of money to really make it big. Certainly, these may be real factors that affect the speed, timing, and the ability to sustain. They often become an excuse, valid or not, about why some cannot achieve.

Does this answer the born or made question?

Born or Made

We see both ends of the continuum, but what is the third element? Either side has reasons for their position. Everything else is just in the middle, the mean, an average.

Some will talk about excuses. Others will express a lack of interest, a lack of desire, or unlucky breaks. Still others will proclaim that they weren’t born with it.

If you aren’t making your story better, maybe it is time to turn over a new leaf.

A tree may be born from a seed, how it grows is a different story.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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apologies improve performance

Do Apologies Improve Performance?

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Apologies are important but they shouldn’t be a crutch. Do you have to apologize often? Do you believe apologies improve performance, or the perception of performance?

Excuses and Dropped Balls

In business or our workplace relationships, we often hear excuses for poor performance or dropped balls.

I forgot about that, I’ll do it right away. 

Sorry I missed you on the email distribution I must have been very busy when I sent it.

If I don’t call you back please reach out again. I’m really terrible about getting back to people.

Certainly, everyone has a slip up here or there, unfortunately sometimes this procrastination and faulty service becomes a habit, a very bad habit.

Relationships Matter

In workplace relationships, internally with the team, or externally with customers and vendors we have an obligation to support others. Sometimes this obligation is contractual and sometimes it should just be a common courtesy.

Relationships matter appreciative strategies

Good habits are hard to form and bad habits are hard to break. When you chronically come up short and provide an excuse that seems to let you off the hook what will you do the next time?

The best indicator of future performance is often past performance. It is true in business agreements, professional relationships, and even with personal matters.

Do Apologies Improve Performance?

Not a chance, always consider that your future success will depend on your business relationships. Just because you’re friendly or have known someone for a long time doesn’t mean you have an excuse for poor performance in business matters.

When you’re really sorry and you care about your professional image you’ll accept that you came up short, apologize, and change your behavior for the future.

Apologies won’t improve your performance, but a commitment to shift to better habits will.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Customer service excuses

Customer Service Excuses Are Useless

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Unfortunately, things sometimes go wrong. While all the intentions are good and the effort solid, sometimes, a mistake will happen. Giving customer service excuses probably has some value, but not nearly as much as listening.

Many would probably quickly feel like excuses and listening can turn into a slippery slope. Indeed, they can, but doing absolutely nothing will not help the situation.

Lifetime Value

I’ve been using the same company for heating oil for 21 years. Last year, for the first time, they invited me enter a volume purchase agreement. When I commit to a number of gallons for the heating season, I get to lock in at a price per gallon, sounds a little risky, but properly negotiated, wise.

Last year I won, I got a great price per gallon and it really helped keep my expenses down. Fantastic, I loved my vendor—until I didn’t.

This year it took them four additional months to calculate my price per gallon, and the deal they offered, well, it wasn’t much of a deal. When I politely expressed my reservation and desire to refuse their offer it didn’t seem to matter.

Essentially, I was told that it was a corporate decision and there was nothing my local representative could do. My immediately reaction was, “I’ve been a customer for more than 20 years.” The response, “I can see that on your record, sorry.”

Let’s get this straight, for more than 20 years I paid probably on average, at least, without looking it up $3,000.00 per heating season. Across twenty years, that is $60,000, and I think I’m being very conservation in my estimate.

Customer Service Excuses

What is the point? My vendor had plenty of excuses. I spoke with them on the telephone several times. I expressed my desire to continue our relationship and was generous and kind about our shared commitment. They empathized about the situation.

My thought is that somewhere in “corporate” wherever that is, there is someone with an expensive calculator or a spreadsheet that has determined the price of contracts. Where they have failed, in my opinion, is to look closely at the lifetime value. Perhaps more importantly, I believe that they weren’t listening. Customer service excuses are often useless.

They did however call me after the terrible storm hit the Houston, Texas area. Their message was that they were looking out for me to beat rising prices, perhaps I would want to reconsider the contract. I negotiated a one-time delivery, at a reduced out-of-contract price. My local representative had the power to work with me to make that happen.

It’s a shame about the contract. I’m going to miss them.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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