Are You Achieving Excellence?
At different times when I ask my clients if they believe they are achieving excellence, I often hear “No, I wouldn’t say excellence, but we’re better than we were X years ago!”
My first response when I hear that is always, “Well what if you were mediocre 2 years ago? Congratulations, you’re now better than mediocre! Are you really okay with that?”
Comparing yourself to what you did 2,3, or 10 years keeps you trapped in the past. It can prevent you from taking risks (so you feel safe) and keep you chained to average or poor past performance.
But what if you were doing really well 2 years ago? Comparing yourself to that point in time only tells you what you were capable of back then. It doesn’t help you achieve your optimal level of excellence today.
Your customers don’t care what you did for them 2 years, 6 months, or 6 days ago, they care what you do for them today. Besides you can not assume that your competition has stayed the same or that the market hasn’t changed. That would be an even bigger mistake.
Achieving excellence means you continuously push yourself beyond where you feel comfortable and into new territory. Sometimes that means striving for a goal that scares the hell out’ve you because you’re not sure you can hit it!
It means that you embrace change, fear, and new ideas. Notice I didn’t say ACCEPT change, fear, and new ideas … I said EMBRACE … their is a big difference.
So are you achieving excellence? If not here’s a few thoughts:
6 Thoughts on Achieving Excellence:
- Remember, excellence is not a place you arrive. If it was, you wouldn’t be there very long because as soon as you stop striving for excellence … you lose it!
- Excellence is a state of mind (belief) that needs to permeate every crevice of your business and your life.
- It takes less than a nanosecond to decide to “be” excellent (Step 1).
- Once you decide, start acting with excellence in everything that you do (Step 2).
- And when you get stuck (not if, but when) simply ask yourself this question … What would an excellent __________ (leader, sales person, parent, teacher, spouse, partner, programmer, developer, etc) do in a situation like this? (Step 3)
- And then as Nike says … JUST DO IT! (Step 4)
If you want to be a student of excellence, remember what psychologist Warren Bennis said …
“Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity.”
Excellence or mediocrity, you always have a choice … choose wisely!