When you hear the word "excellence" what do you think about? Some people think perfection. But if you think that excellence is synonymous with perfection, then excellence cannot be achieved. One definition of excellence is "that in which a person excels or is superior." One of our goals in business today should be to strive for excellence in all that we do.
In life, I believe you get what you expect. If you anticipate average performance, you will receive it. If you anticipate excellent performance, you will receive it. Achieving excellence in your business begins with your expectation of receiving excellent performance from your employees. Arnold Palmer, Sr. said, "Remember, whatever game you play, 90% of success is from the shoulders up." In the game of business or in the game of life, whatever we expect to receive is exactly what we will receive.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do you expect excellence from your employees? Have you defined what excellent performance is to your employees?
2. Is your business excellent in delivering outstanding customer service (according to your customers, not you)? In your marketplace, who sets the standard for superiority?
3. Is "close enough is good enough" in your daily business practices? If I asked your employees about your performance, would you receive a grade of "excellent"?
4. Is the habit of excellence present in your daily work life? How about that of your employees?
If you want to take your business to the next level, you must be sure you are personally moving toward excellence in everything you do. Every thought creates an action. Those actions eventually become habits. You must become the disciplined leader who will settle for nothing less than superior performance from yourself and from your employees.
Charlie Fewell President Charlie Fewell & Associates Memphis, Tenn.