What is average?

What is average?  As many of my closest friends and colleagues know, I am reading books on excellence.  In each of these books I have found that the company’s, the people, the country’s, the leaders, the CEO’s, etc. are not doing extraordinary things, they are just doing the ordinary things very well.  There are about five to six things that they are well above average in doing.  I am on a journey to be above average in areas of my life that I have been average in.  There are many areas in my life I have been above average, however there are some goals I have made that I am painfully stuck in being “average” and it is because of my lack of commitment to do what is necessary to become above average. So today’s list is a pledge to myself to be above average in areas of my life where I have allowed average tendencies.

So what is average:

  • Average company’s say process over people.
  • Average says that is the way we have always done it.
  • Average leaders have no vision for themselves which means they can’t have a vision for the people or company.
  • Average says don’t rock the boat, its not worth the trouble.
  • Average says I will do it later, instead of how can I get it done now.
  • Average says I will watch the show instead of reading the book.
  • Average says how much do I have to do, instead of what can I do.
  • Average says I will save for retirement later, instead of how can I start saving now.
  • Dave Ramsey says most people (average) say: How much will it cost me a month, The rich (above average) says how much does it cost.
  • Average says one more piece of cake won’t hurt me, instead of that is enough for now.
  • Average says: you’re in a safe place don’t take the risk.
  • Average allows the day to run them instead of them running the day.
  • Average allows their calendar to be dictated by others instead of controlling it themselves.
  • Average says I know it all, instead of what can I learn.
  • Average says it will always be this way, instead of saying how can I change it.
  • Average says networking is not important, instead of making time for it.
  • Average hits snooze instead of getting up (I did this today)
  • Average stays in their comfort zone.

This list is really for me and it is my public commitment to myself to continue to be above average in everything I do and seek to do. I hit snooze today on my alarm, I do this too many days in a row and I will become average. In the pursuit of excellence I go today!

Brian Willett



  • a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.

This morning as I was reading the word opportunity came up over and over.  It has also been on my mind because in my business with my employer, we talk about taking advantage of the opportunities we have at our disposal all of the time.   My employer offers a lot of huge additional benefits and opportunities outside of a stable paycheck (better than average wages for similar positions), great working conditions, a good insurance package, great training, to name a few.

My mentor Jim Rohn said:  Don’t waste too much time trying to figure out why some people decide to spend all of their money first and save what is left and other people save first and spend what is left.  We don’t know why people do this so don’t spend too much time thinking about it.

I have asked this question so many times here of late why some people don’t take advantage of the great opportunities our company offers.  Why some people respond to emails that ask for a response and some don’t.  Why some people actively participate and some don’t.  Why some people are coachable and some are not. Why some people value training and appreciate it and some don’t.  I guess it is just like my mentor said:  We DONT KNOW!  So don’t spend your time thinking about it.  Get on with getting on, with the people who do want to take advantage of the opportunities and those who don’t will just have to watch the others.

The beginning of this blog started with the definition of opportunity.  What a great definition: A set of circumstances that make it possible to do something.   Read that definition a few times.  The word possible has to be the most powerful word in the english dictionary doesn’t it?  I know I am going to take advantage of the circumstances and not only do what I know is possible, but also seek to do what we might not even know is possible until we do it.

Brian Willett



Choose Excellence!

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.

Brian Willett