Excellence is not a function of money or a clearly defined set of quality standards. Excellence is a journey that produces different results based on your knowledge, experience and resource. Excellence is putting in your best effort to get the best result with the best use of the resources available to you.
[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”](Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club)[/featured-image]
[shareable cite=”Gordon B. Hinckley”]Mediocrity will never do. You are capable of something better.[/shareable]
Excellence is an attitude. An approach to life and work which makes you stand out of the crowd.
If excellence gets you distinguished amongst the competition, then adopting an attitude of excellence can only be a good thing. In your career, an attitude of excellence will result in advancement. In your business, an attitude to excellence will result in more satisfied customers, more growth and profit.
Excellence and Money
Many argue that there is a cost element to excellence and that the more resources you have, the better you are at delivering an excellent customer experience. Indeed excellence may mean you putting extra staff to work to deliver greater value to your customers or you spending extra time at work to pay greater attention to details. So it will cost you money and time. But as Tom Peters said,
[shareable cite=”Tom Peters”]There are only two ways to create and sustain superior performance over over the long haul. First, take exceptional care of your customers via superior services and superior quality. Second, constantly innovate [/shareable]
To put the price of excellence in context, think of what it will cost you not to have excellence? Yes inferior services, inferior quality and stagnation. All these can be summed up in one word. Mediocrity; described by my friend Steve as the best of the worst and the worst of the best.
When you have traveled the road, acquired money and experience, it is your excellent attitude to what you do that will significantly enhance your results. Your continued devotion to achieving excellence will produce superior performance.
7 Keys to Excellence
Let me help you out with my top seven keys to excellence in any area.
#1: 99.9% Is Not Enough
Dan Gables the 1972 Olympic Games Wrestling Gold medalist best known for his tenure as University of Iowa head coach who won 16 national championships puts it this way, “I am a believer in starting with high standards and raising them. We make progress only when we push ourselves to the highest level”. People will not remember the nine hundred and ninety nine times you got their product or services delivered right. Its that one bad customer experience that gets spread over social media. You cannot stop unit you have perfected the art of getting it right all the time.
#2: Go The Extra Mile
This is to exceed expectations. This is to over deliver on what is expected. My friend Marc describes it like this, “ You need to find out what best looks like in your job and then exceed it”. Excellence is an attitude that says I will exceed the expectations of my customers, my employees and my shareholders.
#3: Evaluate And Learn
Feedback is said to be the food of champions. The only way to learn, grow and get better is to have your performance evaluated. You learn from and improve on the evaluation received. Many years ago, American Automobile Manufacturers would slow down the speed of the assembly line to avoid breakdowns. In contrast, Japanese car manufactures would put the line to its paces until it reached break point and the assembly line was stopped. The Japanese would then intensively study the source of breakdown and put in place preventive measures. While one manufacture avoided mistakes by slowing down and introducing slack, the other sought breakdowns by pushing boundaries, taking corrective action and then pushing boundaries again. Needless to say, both had different results.
#4: Give Attention To Detail
Excellence is found in the little things. The smile on the face of the customer attendant when welcoming customers, the cleanliness of the display counter and the orderly arrangement of flowers at the reception desk. Excellence is found in the clutter free work environment, properly planned and spaced out appointment schedules and the starting and finishing of meetings on time. The little things add up to make a big thing.
You have to be challenge the mindset that wants to rest on its laurels. You need to have an experimenting mentality that says if its not broken, break it up and then put it together to make it better, faster and deliver more value to customers. If you leave it unbroken, then you can be sure that your competitor will come out with a superior product and take your once satisfied customers away from you.
#6: Suppress Your Ego
Get it done by someone else who can do it better than you. Excellence is found in you knowing your limitations. Excellence is found in you finding your niche and then putting in the effort to be the best available in your field. There is generalised knowledge, there is specialised knowledge and there is the organisation and application of knowledge. All you need to know is that which gives you an edge over your competition.
It doesn’t matter how much you delegate or empower others, as the leader, the buck stops at your desk. It is your responsibility to get the right results through the collective effort of your team. Don’t delegate and walk away. Agree on the means and frequency of reporting back. Agree on the parameters to be reported and agree on the targets to be reached. In your personal life, be proactive. You have the ability to influence the outcome of your life by your actions or in-actions.
Excellence is a journey. It is not a destination that you are heading for. Take whatever keys is applicable to you and use it daily to unleash the power of excellence in your life and business. The cost of mediocrity is too high a price to pay.
Purpose today to develop an excellent attitude to everything that you do and you will be rewarded with success in life.
And if you have any other helpful keys to excellence, why not leave a comment below.