Tag Archives: Growth

Excellence is Your Best Long Term Growth Strategy

My grandfather used to day that, “Excellence was its own Reward.” Sounded like an excuse not to pay me at the time.

This was reinforced by my father. He would make us go back outside and rewash the car a second time without even seeing it. He would put it this way. There is no way you could have done your best that fast. He new that rushing a job meant we cut corners and he didn’t even have to see it, to know. Man, I hated that. BTW, He didn’t pay me either… just sayin.

Of course He was right and of coarse I didn’t want to admit it.

Something must have stuck because I got my first job at the balloon shop, I would try and find ways to do my job better, sell more balloons, delight the customers and make the store a fun place to work. If I had time, I put it to work.

I didn’t make more money, but everyone had a better time and the business improved. I also had a better time at work and a job became a joy.

That experience and my grandfather’s wisdom has stayed with me throughout my life.   I find the more I help others improve, the better we all get and the fuller my life becomes.

Today, there is a lot of talk around “building your brand. “ Many want their brand to be relevant, innovative, hip, bleeding edge, a leader, people-focused, etc….

I get it, these are good and helpful. May I boldly state that the world needs most of all are people who will build their brand and companies on Excellence for the Sake of Excellence?

Apple, Tesla, Chick-Fil-A, Virgin Air are all examples of “excellence led” companies where what they produce delights and overwhelms their customers and the process they use encourage and promote innovation.

They then build systems that support you through your interaction. Their systems and product are all designed to deliver an experience that is unique and purposefully different than their competitors.

Put a Chick-Fill-A in NY and just see what happens. Long lines…. That what happens… Repeat Customers… that what happens…. Incredible Growth… That what happens. Chick-Filet and Apple releases have a ton in common. One just comes with pickles.

Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.

Here are three things to consider as you contemplate how you want to infuse excellence into your team, company, group, community, church, or non-profit.

Excellence is not Perfection – Perfectionism is nasty and not reachable. It limits thoughts, innovation and progress by only focusing on output.. Excellence is focused on doing the best you can and then getting better. Excellence drives Innovation, Open Thought and a focus on the process and output.

Excellence is not tied to Compensation, or Title – Excellence is, in fact, its own reward. Thanks grandpa… My grandfather started out working in a service station. One of his customers would come in twice a year to change his tires. He would always ask for my grand-father. This was back just after World War 2 and my grandpa had served in the army. One time, this man had come in with a proposition. He wanted to start a fuel company and he wanted my grandpa to run it.

Grandpa didn’t know anything about running a fuel company. The man said this to him. “I can teach you about fuel, but this is a people business, and I can’t teach someone to treat people with the care that you have.” They ran that business together for over 20 years.

We all work in a people business. Don’t let your job define how you act, Let your excellence infuse your job. Excellence opens doors and people are attracted to it.

Excellence is not a sometimes thing – Excellence is not limited to your job, your role and those things at your work. Excellence is a mindset of where we decide that whatever we produce, whatever we spend our time on is done to the best of our ability. It becomes a process where I measure my life and I will then commit to get a little better everyday in everything.   From being a father, husband, leader, pastor, son and friend… If it worth doing…. It is worth doing well.

Hope this helps. Now, Let’s Get Moving.


Raise Up for Higher Performance

There sure seems to be a lot of pressure in business today. Pressure to grow, pressure to come out with the next “New Thing, pressure to hit targets, pressure to win, and pressure to beat out the competition.

The drumbeat of commerce has gotten louder and the pressure to win continues to be at a high-level.

I grew up in a community that was surrounded by wheat-farmers. These man and women actually had their lives fully dependent on getting top dollar for their crops.

One bad year, and they could lose everything.

An amazing part of this community was that when one of them was in trouble, instead of pouncing on their competition, they all rallied around. The entire community would sacrifice to make sure that everyone was ok. Instead of pouncing at the chance, they used that opportunity that take care of the person and build them up.

In today’s marketplace, people’s failures are way more public. With access to social media, it has never been easier to complain about or pile on a business failure. This is the time to find out who you really are and what you want o be about.

If your business plan depends on you piling on a competitor, you need a better business plan.

The truth is you can have high growth and still walk the high-road. If your only goal is to beat your competition, then you need to set your sites higher. Build your skills, your team, your company or your industry. You can be a person who tears down or builds, not both. How do you want to build impact and legacy?

The real value of a leader is setting and living the culture. This has to start with you.

We are called to be a light to those around us… to be that helping hand that reaches out to those in need and helps them back to their feet.… The Marketplace has never needed this, real leadership more than today.

Like squeezing a tube of toothpaste, pressure will push out what is really inside us.

I am all for healthy competition. Competition can give us a chance to challenge ourselves to bring out our best. Let’s make sure, it brings out our best and that excellence is the standard we judge against.

So here comes that test, everyone will stumble, including you, what will you do when your competitor stumbles? When you see that opportunity, how far will you go? How far will you go when you see a chance to build your career by knocking someone down a peg? Will you take credit for someone-else’s work? How far will go?

Take the opportunity to reach out, teach, counsel and help. Encourage them to learn and get back up. That’s Leadership.

Excellence needs to be our standard and we should expect nothing less from ourselves and our teams. Excellence includes not just what we do but how we do it. Excellence means that we bring value to every transaction and interaction and that we see the growth opportunity in building… Not tearing down.

Let’s Raise the Bar by Raising Each Other!!!

High-Heel Impact… Simple

Did you know that a 120 pound woman in high heel delivers more pressure per square inch impact than a barefooted 6000 pound elephant?

I shouldn’t have to say this but please do not relay this directly to your friend or spouse while they happen to be wearing high heals or you may find yourself on the wrong side of them testing this on your foot.

What if you could have the influence you really wanted in your Community, in Business, in your Family?  What if you could accomplish more by doing less?  Sound Crazy?

All leaders desire to have a great impact.  This is what motivates them to step up into leadership and what draws people to follow them.  Otherwise, they are just out for a walk.

This is something that comes from inside them.  After all, leadership is about taking people on a journey.  If people aren’t trying to get anywhere or aren’t trying to do something, the importance of leadership is greatly diminished.  You don’t need a leader to go nowhere.

Some of the most important responsibilities of a leader are to set, communicate and reinforce the vision.  Vision is a word that really means a description of a place or circumstance better than the current one.   This more simple the vision, the easier and more effective this job is.  As Steve Jobs put it “Simple is harder than complex.”

When a leader is focused, the organization can be focused and can build real momentum.  (Momentum for me is defined as people heading in the same direction)  It is no guarantee the organization will build momentum but the more focused a team is, the better chance they have.

I can promise if the leader does not protect the vision and allow it to get complex, organization will never gain real momentum. No one else will protect your vision.  This is the leader’s #1 job and You can’t go two directions at the same time.  Make Sense?

When vision gets too wide, it loses it meaning, and its ability to define what we are and what we are not. 

Vision must burn hot, be clear and be reinforced over and over in words and in action.  Things get added over time because we worry we are too simple, see a shiny new object or we hear another vision and it has all the cool buzz-words.  Let’s be honest.  These additions send us down rabbit holes, burn out our people and kill momentum.

The truth is your organization, career, family, community exist for a unique purpose and when you water down the vision, you lose your differentiation and turn your-self from something memorable to something forgettable.

The more clear your vision, the less you will chase time-wasters and money-wasters.  

Many of us try and be elephants where we can be everything to everyone when actually it is the impact  of the high heals that will leave permanent indents on the floor. 

We need to get more focused to put ourselves in position for incredible growth.  Say yes to what propels you closer to your vision and no to those that do not.

Can you communicate your vision easily? 

Do you use this to define what you do and don’t do? 

How do you protect it?