I work with many different individuals and organizations and every time I sit down and do a strategy session and goals overview, I hear this word "Excellence" come up a lot. Everyone wants to live an excellent life or have an excellent organization.
But when I ask to see their strategy for achiecving excellence, their is a silence. Although desiring to perform or produce an excellent service or product is a great goal, it doesn't happen automatically. Defined by the dictionary, excellence is the state or quality of excelling or being exceptionally good.
So if excellence is not an accident, nor achieved by honest desire, how do we achieve excellence. I have studied excellent companies and organizations, along with individuals that exude excellence and I have traced some factors that produce excellence. There are about 8 key factors for producing excellence in life and business.
1. Make excellence the target
In your life and business you must make being excellent the target. Excellence must be your pursuit. This is a personal desire that you must commit to. This is not something you take a vote on. When excellence is your target, you will not take short cuts, you will go the extra mile.
2. Model excellence
Identify excellent people in your life. Who are the top companies in your industry? Model the best, what are they doing that sets them a part. What I have observed is that those that have made excellence a target are into the details. When I studied the Marriott Hotels, their founder J. Willard Marriott used a 100 point check list for his maids to clean every room. To most people that would seem extreme, but not when excellence is your target.
3. Communicate your desire for excellence
Let those around you know that excellence is your standard, that you will settle for nothing less. In your own life and business, create a culture of excellence. Be committed to producing excellence in all areas of your life and business. The more you communicate that excellence is the standard, others will begin to buy into it as well.
4. Expose yourself to excellence
I love to experience excellence. No matter if it is in a local restaurant or flying in the air. Skytrax conducted a recent poll and awarded the top airlines in the industry for excellence. Some of the winners were Emirates, Singapore and Qatar. I have had the pleasure of flying with each of these airlines and the service is excellent. No matter were my seat was, I felt like I was in first class every time I have flown with one these airlines.
5. Work hard at achieving excellence
I don't know if you have noticed, but if you have ever been involved in organized sports, you know that you practice more than the actual game. In high school when I played football, practice was four days a week, 2-3 hours. That was an average of 12 hours for a two hour game, that I maybe played 40 minutes in. That was just the practice time on the field, this didn't include the time invested watching game film or working out in the gym. You must put in the time and the effort to achieve excellence.
6. Focus your efforts and surround yourself with the best
Very few people are great a multiple things. For this reason it is key to surround yourself with other talented and gifted individuals that have a desire to produce at an excellent level as well. This will free you to focus your time and energy at what you do best, while giving you the confidence that every other area is being met with the same focus and dedication to excellence.
7. Challenge your results
Never become satisfied. Explore if there is a better way, more efficient way to do what you are doing. Never rest with being described as the best at the moment. If you are in the number one spot, someone is aiming for you, so you can't rest. See the new possibilities in your industry, remain on the cutting age, be a risk taker.
8. Excellence is a strategy
To achieve excellence in any area, you need a strategy. A detailed plan of what excellence looks like for you and what steps you are going to take to achieve excellence. A person that wants to lose weight will do a few things. Number one make a decision that weight lost is the goal. Secondly, they most likely will hire a trainer. This trainer will give them a strategy to follow that will help them achieve their goals. Maybe weekly or monthly the individual and trainer will come together and check the results. Your strategy needs a built in system for checking results. There is no need to waste time on what is not working.
When you embrace these eight key factors for excellence, you will see a difference in what you do. Don't just wish and pray that excellence is achieved, pursue excellence.
Do you have some factors for excellence or observations on excellence, leave a comment.
Author, Genius Potential
America's #1 Leadership Life Trainer