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As I am now into similar positions, my mindset is more like yours, I am frustrated with people who do not execute and have mindsets for excuses and hiding behind their incompetencies. On the flipside, I do not have time to motivate or increase the value of these folks, even though I know they are smart. My perspective is to be successful, you should be  (not in any order):

1) Smart
2) Able to execute
3) Creative

So, that said, Ken, what would you have done to motivate the folks that are not performing? I am sure they have their reasons, but is it a manager’s responsibility to get those out, when time is already limited to keep  company’s  respect and position in the industry?