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The Pursuit of Excellence

Gary Ryan Blair 12-17

The pursuit of excellence is not only politically correct; it's also highly profitable. Excellence is a form of currency. A commitment to excellence can help you capture true wealth and realize the inherent value of your potential. A lack of commitment devalues potential, credibility, and reputation.

Each of us has an important responsibility, and chances are that it's not listed on your job description: a commitment to excellence. You will never outlive its importance, usefulness, and necessity.

Excellence is never an accidental happening. It is the result of quality thinking and exceptional execution. If you are to become the person you were meant to be on the day you were born, do whatever you do with all your might, with the unshakeable belief and understanding that excellence counts.

You must live and die in the spirit of quality and excellence —always do the best you can!

How do you break a bad habit? How do you start a new one? It's easy, you make a commitment, and you do what needs to be done. Then you maintain focus on the new behavior and refuse to accept anything less than what you expect. That's exactly how excellence is achieved!

Some people perpetually create for themselves the conditions for their own dissatisfaction. To achieve excellence and to escape the mushroom cloud of mediocrity, you must, as of this second, quit doing less than excellent work. What a profound idea.

Mediocrity is a choice—not always made consciously—but still a choice. Anything less than a commitment to excellence is a compromise of talent, quality and standards, which results in mediocrity.

You commit career malpractice every time you do things in a mediocre manner, every time you show up late, every time you are unprepared. There is no inherent value in mediocrity, no reason for people to stop and pay attention, nothing worth bragging about.

Being "world-class" has nothing to do with size, education, or bloodline; it has everything to do with decision, commitment, action, and persistence. Excellence is a destination for anyone who appreciates, respects, and demonstrates hard work and good judgment.

Excellence is not something attained and then put in a trophy case. Excellence is a habit - a momentary happening, a conjunction of body, mind and spirit all working together at one's peak.

Excellence requires that a price be paid, and the price of excellence is what you are willing to pay in sweat to get it. Those who have legitimately reached the summits have worked harder and longer, studied and planned more assiduously, practiced more self-denial, and overcame more difficulties than those of who have not risen as far.

Steps Toward Excellence

You can become excellent in a second, beginning right now. Start by visualizing yourself as the best teacher, artist, manager, coach or parent that you aspire to become and start acting the part. Put yourself in the best possible position to succeed, and then perform your script exactly as it plays out in your mind.

The next step to demonstrating excellence is the determination to stay the course, to maintain high standards, and to never compromising on doing your best work no matter the roadblock or inconvenience.

It takes less than a second to raise your standards, deliver world-class quality, and commit to excellence, but it takes a lifetime of passionate pursuit to maintain it. This truth holds for the concierge at a hotel, also the manager of a small department, as well as the CEO of an international firm.

Excellence wastes little time in making its presence felt. It represents an example of truly great thinking. We should all appreciate the merits of rich thoughts, high personal standards and a commitment to squeeze every ounce of one's potential.

Excellence begins inside, as a decision. Look at your life, business and relationships and ask, "What do I see that needs improvement? What do I wish I didn't see? What would I ideally like to see? What do I hear other people say about me? What do I see that rubs me the wrong way about others?" The answer to these questions along with others like them will provide the points of improvement you seek.

Implementing and sustaining a drive towards excellence will put you in the best position relative to others for opportunity. It will also help you build support because you demonstrate real accountability, genuine results and superior performance.

A Guilty Pleasure

Excellence is a guilty pleasure as it creates confidence and enhances peace of mind. It functions as an insurance policy against mediocrity and an assurance of continuous growth. A genuine commitment to excellence allows you to bump yourself up from coach to first class anytime you wish.

We all have a range of career choices and opportunities. But we expand the range and quality of our choices when we practice excellence; adversely, we blackball ourselves from future opportunities when we do mediocre work.

Attempt to make every opportunity one of importance because every opportunity counts.

What is considered excellent today will become the minimum cost of admission tomorrow. You're only as good as your last performance. The bar is constantly being raised. If you don't produce excellent results consistently, someone else will.

There is no grace period for mediocrity, and you must have a zero tolerance policy for it. People expect the best. If they can't get it from you, they'll find it elsewhere.

Most people are not hard acts to follow and that's exactly why a commitment to excellence is the ultimate competitive advantage.

Never relax the rules of excellence. When you compromise quality, you suffer physical and emotional detachment from your goals. Have the belief that the efficiencies of your business and life are infinite, that everything can be improved upon, that every project can be completed in an excellent fashion.

Why? Because when it comes to excellence,

Everything Counts!


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