I’ve been pondering excellence for some time now. Actually, for years I’ve said I wanted to live and work with an excellent spirit but I rarely took the time to consider WHAT that meant. You know, practically. But the last few weeks, I’ve posted a few thoughts on my Instagram account of what excellence looks like and today I felt inspired to write down more thoughts on what the difference is between those who live with excellence and those who don’t. In other words, what is the mindset behind practical excellence?
A MINDSET OF EXCELLENCE
I’m a hands-on person. When learning something new I need to SEE it in action. So if I hear a teacher or speaker exclaim, “Be a person of excellence!!” and the crowd goes wild…I’m the one who’s thinking, “That SOUNDS neat-o, but what does that mean?”
Seriously, how many times have we applauded, shared a quote, or even given a word of advice while not having any clue what it means?
As I thought about it, here’s what came to mind as I considered what the practicality or mindset of excellence is.
A mindset of excellence:
- holds yourself to the same (or higher) standard that you hold others to.
- would rather try something and fail miserably than not give something a try at all. Because when you try something, even if you fail, you learn valuable insights, perspective, knowledge, and skills.
- embraces being stretched. If you’d rather keep your life in a nice cozy bubble, you are lacking a spirit of excellence.
- makes the same choices when you’re alone as when you’re in front of people you want to impress.
- can’t stand “good enough”.
- goes beyond the expected.
Excellence is always asking, “how can I do this better?” or “how can I do this to the best of my ability?”. An excellent mindset never thinks about how little can be done in order to be considered sufficient work.
SUFFICIENT ISN’T ALWAYS EXCELLENT
Practically speaking, what does this look like (or not)? (Just so you know…I’m writing this to MYSELF. I just happen to be making it public because I know we all have room to grow.)
- How many times have you decided to send a project through without giving it your best or double-checking your work so you could get on to something else? I have and I usually have to redo it. Taking more time than if I had done it right the first time AND disappointing a client.
- Perhaps we expect our clients or others we network with to respond quickly to our texts or emails, but when the tables are turned, we excuse our own delay? It’s easy to think that we have a special reason to not have the same expectations for ourselves as we do for others. If we tell our clients that we aren’t always able to respond immediately, then we need to extend the same grace to other people as we wait for their reply.
- Do you ever complain about your clients with others? This one is a big ouch for me. I don’t do this anymore, but I admit I used to complain all the time. Not because I wanted to, but in my mind, I was making interesting conversation. But the reality is, I was not honoring my relationship with clients.
- Are you afraid or unwilling to refer someone to another business even though you know you can’t serve them? We need to get over thinking that everyone is a competitor. It just shows that we lack confidence. When we operate in excellence, we are more concerned with helping people get their needs met than we are about ourselves. If we can’t meet a need, the right thing to do is point them in the right direction – even if it’s to a “competitor”. Someday, you’ll be on the receiving end!
- Have you ever promised to get together with someone or give them your business only to change your mind and instead of talking to them, you “ghost” them? In other words, you simply ignore them and hope they’ll forget about you. Ghosting has become a huge problem in the business world. We want to avoid uncomfortable conversations so we just “disappear”.
Let’s ask ourselves how to go above and beyond expectations. Taking responsibility even when we “technically” don’t need to. Several years ago, I heard my pastor say, “Do the right thing, always, even if it costs you”.
Good advice, but honestly, tough to do.
Do you have any ideas about how to operate in excellence? Tell me in the comments below because we can all learn from each other!