"No Excuse" - These 2 words I learned at the United States Military Academy at West Point as one of only 4 responses we were allowed to use to any question our freshman (plebe) year. These 2 words have been more responsible for any successes I have had in life and business than anything else I have done. Owning our good decisions and bad decisions is critical in a world where it is all too easy to lay blame on others. The next time you make a mistake and your boss or co-worker asks: "What happened?" Answer: "No Excuse." You will be surprised at a) the look on peoples' faces when they hear a person take responsibility and b) how quickly the situation is resolved and people move on instead of dwelling on a bad decision. Throughout my 21 years of experience in "business", I have gained more respect from my peers and managers for saying "No Excuse" when I screwed something up than for any knowledge of the tactics of finance.