Excuses are the death of greatness

Skiplist Principles - Part 3 of 3


Now that I travel, I find myself feeling the phenomenon of sonder. Sonder is the feeling you get when you realize that everyone around you has a life of the same vividness and complexity as your own. Seeing so many people at airports, around the city I’m in or when Im in meetings it’s impossible not to appropriate the complexity that comes from everyone having unique lives and a unique impact on the world.

From the buildings and homes we live in, the cars, planes and buses we use for transportation, the infrastructure we take for granted everyday was built by another human being who’s limited time was used to provide it to everyone else. This simple fact can be staggering but it is also incredibly empowering: we can be the change we want to see in the world. It is also in this that another fact becomes evident: execution is king.

Each person, just as complex as you, would like to see the world the way they want it to exist. Every single person has hundreds or thousands of ideas a day.  However, for each of these ideas, only a small percentage end up in tangential existence and have an impact. Although there are thousands of reasons why ideas won’t come to fruition: market conditions, financial reasons, locality, and many others; the main reason I find that holds ideas back is excuses.

Excuses are the death of greatness. They allow us to slip into comfort, into a mindset that kills the ability to execute. They allow us to shift personal responsibility onto the world, prevent us from living up to our own capabilities, and hold us back from achieving our dreams.

At Skiplist, we will not tolerate excuses. We will not allow them to deteriorate our work or prevent us from achieving our mission. We will relentlessly and with prejudice call out excuses when used and prevent ourselves from using them. We will accept and resolve causes of failure with empathy, tolerance, and care with haste when they occur. We will understand that failure is a nature process of evolution and accept that it is a natural stepping stone of striving to be more.

Excuses are the death of greatness but we will not let them be ours.


Andrew Wolfe, CEO, Skiplist