top of page

The Biggest Socially Accepted Excuse

Poor service – blame Covid.

Poor attitude – blame Covid.

Gained 19 pounds – blame Covid.

Understaffed – blame Covid.

Poor training – blame Covid

Didn’t prepare for the sales call – blame Covid.

Lost that big opportunity because I couldn’t get face to face with the prospect – blame Covid.

Can’t effectively recruit due to talent shortage – blame Covid.

Please know, that I am as empathetic as the next person and I am sensitive to the impact Covid has had on people’s lives over the past twenty-seven months. That said, this Covid pendulum has swung too far the other way!

In his book, The Thirteen Fatal Errors Managers Make, author Steven W. Brown states the following:

“People fail in direct proportion to their willingness to accept socially acceptable excuses for failure.”

Brown goes on to point out that when people use “socially acceptable excuses” like Covid what they are actually saying is this:

Hey, don’t judge me by the same criteria you judge others, because if you do, I am going to fail. But…as long as you go along with the excuse of Covid, then Covid fails, and my hands are clean.”

The biggest socially acceptable excuse in my lifetime: Covid.

We will never make the necessary adjustments and get to where we want to go if we allow the Covid excuse to lead the way.

There is no excuse for poor service

A Covid excuse shirks responsibility while communicating the problem in the form of an excuse, akin to business owners “simply giving up and letting customers suffer,” says U.K. small-business coach Peter Boolkah. “It has never been OK to blame the pandemic for poor service.”

There is no excuse for a poor attitude

As we teach in Butler Street training, attitude is the gate to the mind and 100% in your control! We choose to be positive or negative. We are the CEO of us and our attitude. See related: We Are All CEOs Of Our Own Life And Work

I am sorry. I have been traveling for the last six weeks and it has been miserable. Why?



Here is one example… I watched a Delta flight attendant standing outside the cockpit greeting passengers with “hello, welcome aboard” in an indifferent, monotone voice while looking at her phone the entire time. She never lifted her head and made eye contact with the boarding passengers! Is this due to a poor attitude? Poor training? Poor hire? Or Covid?

I know one thing - that behavior cannot be attributable to Covid. It was a first impression that flight attendant will never get back. And no surprise, the service went downhill from there.

Am I being too tough? No, I don’t think so. Excuses never serve anyone well.

Time for personal accountability

Part of our job as a Top Ten training company is to address the psychological aspects of sales, recruiting, and leadership. These are tough jobs where excuses will never serve you as well as looking in the mirror and making the necessary adjustments when you fail.

I think it is time, we all look in the mirror first. We look at the root cause and develop a root cure. We start with our own attitude. We treat people better—the way we would want to be treated. We need to put the socially accepted excuse of Covid to bed and stop hanging onto it. We need to make the necessary adjustments—NOW!

At Butler Street, we address the psychological aspect of sales and recruiting as the foundation of our program and success. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your team put Covid behind you!


bottom of page