It starts with you

by Rici van Schalkwyk | March 26, 2024

“99% of failures come from those in the habit of making up excuses” – George Washington Carver.

Reflecting on the first quarter of the year, how successful have you been in your endeavours? Have you reached the goals and milestones you set for this period?  And how are your business and your teams performing?

Discussions on performance, goals and improvement often lead to pressure, friction and excuses. Especially if results are poor or progress is too slow. This can leave us feeling stuck, overwhelmed and powerless.

Control and choices!

While there are many aspects in the environment you live and work in, that you do not control; you do control the one aspect that can change things for you. Only you can implement the changes you want.

You control your actions, reactions, decisions and thoughts. Often people believe that while they are responsible for their actions, they are not responsible for what they think. That is simply not true. You are responsible for what you think as this is where you exercise choice. Actions come from thoughts.

You make the choice to allow negative thoughts and behaviours. This will reflect in your actions. Only you can change your mind and allow a different perspective, enabling a change to positive behaviours.

Excuses and blame

We tend to make excuses when evaluating performance or progress. Even valid excuses place the blame elsewhere. Blaming others, circumstances or external factors outside of your control. Blaming limits, the potential you have and are not conducive to identifying areas of improvement or personal growth. Blaming and not taking responsibility gives away your power to change results and performance.

Blaming others or you, solves no problems and does not allow for any personal growth. It is only by taking responsibility that you can implement the actions necessary to change things in your life for the better.

Waiting for others to change or behave differently is spending too much time on the problems and aspects outside your control. Rather shift that energy to solutions and things you do control. Accept mistakes, learn from them and move forward. Take back your power.

“It is only when you take responsibility for your life that you discover how powerful you truly are” – Allanah Hunt

Accountability and Responsibility

Stephen Covey wrote that accountability breeds responsibility. Both lead to ownership of your life. A sense of ownership is incredibly powerful in your personal life, an organisation and a team.

The sense of ownership makes us care enough about our future, the future of our team and organisation to be accountable for our actions. Turning us from wishers and victims into action takers and problem solvers.

We do not pass the buck or blame someone else when things go wrong. We acknowledge the problem and find solutions.


If you want more trust in your team, trust them first. Want more planning, plan first. Want agreed actions executed, execute first. Need more collaboration, connect and share first.

Performance starts with you. You have the power.

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist; or to accept the responsibility for changing them” – Denis Waitley

At wauperform we believe in building performance management from the business to the workforce, to have sustainable growth. We will gladly assist you with the process. Contact Dale Petersen on 021 819 7802 or at to connect with us.


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