Pursue Excellence not Perfection
Aim to deliver results and exceed expectations in everything you do. It’s an idea that when put into action produces extraordinary results, but do not be fooled by the simplicity of this statement. Within this mantra are three challenges and the challenges grow in difficulty as the statement is put into practice. Begin with delivering results. In both our work and our personal lives, how often do we deliver problems to others? “This or that isn’t working.” “We’re all out of something.” How are we perceived when we deliver problems? How does that perception change when we take those same incidents and deliver solutions? “I noticed that wasn’t working so I called maintenance.” “We were all out of something, so I picked it up on the way in.” When we make delivering results a habit, we can’t help but progress to the second challenge, exceed expectations. It no longer satisfies our souls to just deliver what we know is necessary. We become self-directed and ask ourselves, and those we serve, how can we make it better? This is when opportunities begin to appear. The opportunities for improvement were always there, but now we are looking for them and when we find them, we feel compelled to act. It is with this mindset that we differentiate ourselves from our competitors. When our clients receive unexpected value, they become evangelists, telling others of their experiences. This is how strong reputations are made. The remaining challenge is to incorporate the pursuit of excellence into everything we do. Not with well-intended annual resolutions, but with earnest conviction to be a better person. If exceeding expectations has proven to strengthen our business relationships, it stands to reason it will strengthen our personal ones as well. We can all be better listeners, more charitable, and improved individuals, but perfection is an unattainable goal and its pursuit is a futile effort. Let us instead be slightly better people than we were yesterday, then try again tomorrow.