“Just because you can’t keep up doesn’t mean you can’t show up.”
—Brendon Burchard, High Performance Author
Image from Unsplash by Mārtiņš Zemlickis
Striving for excellence is a powerful thing. It gives us all a sense of passion and purpose that is fundamental to living a happy, fulfilled life. There is, however, a dark side to the pursuit of excellence when we compare ourselves to others that have demonstrated superior skills and abilities.
In such cases, many of us don’t even bother suiting up and showing up to contribute our abilities and capacities for fear of looking bad and not keeping up.
Where and on what personal or professional issue is it time to summon the courage to show up and contribute your best, regardless of the outcome?
FRIDAY REVIEW: Excellence
Do you strive for excellence, or accept average? Here are a few excellence-related posts you may have missed. Click on the link to read the full message.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is a habit.”
“It’s what you learn after you know it all, that counts.”
“Do more of what makes you awesome.”
“How can we become a cause and not just a company?”
—Tim Ogilvie, New York City-based Entrepreneur
Employee engagement is a hot topic. Every day, I meet with business leaders pulling their hair out over the challenge of attracting and retaining top talent.
In his 2009 book Drive, Daniel Pink explores factors that engage and motivate employees to be their best, to be attracted to the organizations that fulfill their need for meaning and purpose.
Some companies do a better job than others at making a profound impact on the stakeholder groups they genuinely seek to serve.
Where and in what ways can you ignite and expand your company or organizational purpose?
How can tapping into this desire for a passionate purpose set you apart from your competitors?
How might it generate a waiting list of eager talented applicants who want to be part of something extraordinary?
“To love a person is to see all of their magic and to remind them of it when they have forgotten.”
— Author Unknown
Image from Flickr by Linus Bohman
As part of my signature Personal Excellence Training, I spend an entire day with my client, getting to know them well and fully understanding their vision, values, and goals. This investment of time creates a special partnership called coaching, in which, over time, the magic of each individual is discovered and enhanced.
Throughout this coaching journey, most people experience setbacks and doubts about themselves, and their capacity to achieve their most cherished goals. We all need a committed and loving supporter to remind us of our magic when difficult times cause us to forget.
How can you demonstrate your love and caring for others by seeing their magic and reminding them of it when they forget?
Who are the caring people in your personal or professional worlds who could play this role for you?
“Excelling at any job is about doing the things you weren’t asked to do.”
—Mary Egan – founder of Gathering Table and Former Senior VP at Starbucks
Photo from www.soccer-daily.net
What does it take these days to be extraordinary, exceptional, and remarkable? Notice how often you require events in your personal or professional world to meet those definitions in order to gain even a few moments of your valuable attention.
I recently saw a film titled “Dope,” which involved an ambitious, intelligent, and creative main character living in an undesirable Los Angeles neighborhood. He was pursuing his dream of attending Harvard, where straight “A’s” and top SAT/ACT scores are the bare minimum to even be considered.
The audience was taken on an amusing romp in which the character clearly demonstrated his capacity, creativity, and courage to do what was extraordinary, exceptional, and remarkable, and to excel and stand out.
How can you and the organization with which you associate foster an environment where people do the things they were not asked to do, to explore new levels of excellence?
“People are like tea bags. You find out how strong they are when you put them in hot water.”
—Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States of America
Photo from Flickr by Eric Jusino
Other than water, tea is the most popular drink in the world—so popular that its consumption is equal to that of coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol, combined!
Most of us have experienced pouring a cup of hot water over a bag or two, and watching it release its flavor within a few minutes. If you are a bit impatient, you may have even tried dunking the tea bag up and down to release its flavor even faster.
Consider the challenges, obstacles, and barriers you are facing today in either your personal or professional life. See them as hot water that brings out your greatest strengths, and your capacity for personal excellence.
How will you share your cup of life tea with others? How might you offer a little “hot water” to others, to help them discover their own inner strength?
“Do more of what makes you awesome.”
Photo from Flickr by Sam Howitz
Awesome is such an awesome word.
For years, I’ve encouraged my clients to be their personal best, pursue excellence, and of course, discover their strengths.
What is it that you do that literally induces awe in others?
Some might describe awe as a heightened sense of admiration or even a reverence for your gift, unique ability, or area of personal mastery.
Whatever it is, doing more of it will most certainly bring you great fulfillment, satisfaction, and most likely produce quantifiable rewards.
Consider asking a handful of people who know you best what makes you awesome. This is not the time to be timid or overly humble. Hopefully these conversations will shed some light on gifts or talents you have overlooked.
Once you come down from the high you will likely experience in these discussions, get out there and let others in your world know about the awesome qualities and abilities you see in them.
“For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”
– Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance artist and inventor
Image from Flickr by rafeejewell.
What are some times in your life where you were at the top of your game, where you excelled, or where, as Leonardo da Vinci would say, you “tasted flight”?
Coaching is a profession built on the idea of soaring and becoming our professional and personal best. Once we taste our potential, we have an even greater appetite to fly higher and further.
Choose two or three professional goals, and turn your eyes skyward as you seek opportunities to take flight in pursue of these goals.
Engaging the support of a coach, mentor, friend, family member, or colleague will help you fly higher and faster than if you traveled alone.
“There are two types of people in this world: those who walk into a room and say ‘There you are!’ and those who say ‘Here I am!’”
– Various attributions
A cornerstone to personal excellence and personal effectiveness is the ability to develop and sustain effective relationships.
In previous posts we have reviewed a wide variety of tools and techniques to do just that. Fundamental to those tools is taking a sincere interest in others, by showing our interest in their favorite subject – themselves.
On the other hand, when we focus on being interesting, we often come across as egotistical and self-centered, which repels others.
Ask for some feedback or coaching from those close to you and determine how much of a “there you are” versus “here I am” person you are.
If the feedback you receive does not match up with what you desire, place a reminder card in your home and workplace with the words “be interested versus interesting” on it.
“The hallmark of excellence, the test of greatness, is consistency.”
– Jim Tressel, football coach, author and educator
The pursuit of excellence is no accident. Greatness has never been achieved by anyone overnight. Explore the lives of people who demonstrate brilliance in their fields, and what you will find is people who passionately and committedly make consistent efforts towards their goals.
Every great journey begins with the first step, but we only arrive at our destinations by taking the next, and the next, and the next … you get the idea.
Read an autobiography of someone you admire and see what it took for them to succeed. Google your favorite business leader, athlete or performer to discover how they got where they are today.
Where could you be even more consistent in your effort to more quickly and completely realize your priority goals?