One of my favorite coaches and leadership mentors is Vince Lombardi. One of his most notable quotes is “Strive for perfection and settle for excellence.” I think he goes on to say, that perfection may not be attainable, but when you fall short of perfection and land in excellence, you are still in a good place. Since I read this quote for the first time it has resonated with me on a consistent basis and in most endeavors I attempt to achieve and be excellent. However, I can think of areas of my life currently (cleaning them up now) where I haven’t been excellent.
I have a mentor/friend (Chase) that I work with on a daily basis. Through out the day we will text each other, call each other, and email each other and ask ourselves to rank how we are doing so far for the day. On a 1-10 scale where do you fall right now. It requires us to be accountable. We are both professionals and we don’t need that level of accountability. However, it does require me to take a minute and ask myself, “How am I performing so far for the day?” He also stated to me in one of our many conversations that Jesus never did anything that was not excellent and that we (Chase and I) will not accept anything less than being excellent in everything we do, because that is how we are wired. I know personally there are times I may not be as excellent as I should be, but with our relationship I have no doubt there are areas in my life that are becoming more excellent and will continue to become more excellent.
I am currently reading two books on “Excellence.” Tom Peters is an author and has written a few books on this subject. To pull a quote out of his book titled “The Little Big Things, 163 Ways to pursue excellence.”
Excellence can be obtained if you:
- care more than others think is wise
- risk more than others think is safe
- dream more than others think is practical
- expect more than others think is possible
Tom Watson (IBM Legendary Boss): You achieve excellence by promising yourself right now that you’ll never again knowingly do anything that is not excellent–regardless of any pressure to do otherwise by any boss or situation.
It is obviously up to an individual to determine whether or not they are being excellent and pursuing excellence in any endeavor (at work I guess it is your boss) However, many of my writings revolve around personal and self-development and leadership. If you use the above highlighted outline as the basis for excellence, when you apply those four statements to life, work, your career, your family, you name it, you will be seeking excellence in all areas of your life and great things are sure to occur.