Do You Drive Excellence Or More So Tolerate Mediocrity?

“Excellence is not a skill, it's an attitude” – Ralph Marston

Is it worth the effort to drive excellence when it’s so much easier to tolerate mediocrity? Hope I got your attention with this very tongue in cheek question!!!

Anyone who knows me will appreciate how I’m a fan of striving to maximise potential. However, it isn’t necessarily everyone’s “cup of tea” because many talk it but fewer truly walk it. A great way to determine how authentic someone is by the number of “weasel words” (ambiguous or vague words) they use when it comes to driving targeted results. Examples are:

  •        Probably

  •        Possibly

  •        Well …

  •        That being said

I recall a company I was working with who wanted to drive performance improvements. Each staff member had 4 key metrics they had to achieve which we reviewed their progress towards on a weekly basis. The high achievers quickly reached their targets on all 4 metrics, some took a bit longer to get there but eventually did and then there were those who didn’t really get close because they didn’t apply themselves enough. People in this last category would either only achieve 1 or 2 of the 4 metrics or use “new” as an excuse whenever metrics changed. Frequently there were “weasel words” used by the person when discussing what happened or what support they needed to be successful.

How we show up to work each day has a direct correlation to how we perform. Consider whether you see the glass as half full or half empty? It all starts with attitude.

Whether we agree with the targets we have been given or not, I believe we should take an approach of they are what they are. The focus needs to be on how we meet and exceed them.

Driving excellence isn’t always easy but it sure beats failure. I’d love to know your thoughts on this.