What does it mean to be extraordinary?  If being ordinary is having nothing of distinct difference, than we can conclude that to be extraordinary is to be of distinct difference, being different from normal.  Normal is average there is nothing extraordinary about it.

Why not be extraordinary today?  Sure it is a long weekend, after a long hot summer.  It is really easy to take this weekend and be average, be ordinary, and normal.  This is easy, but I know if you are reading this blog your goal is to be extraordinary.  Be an extraordinary father today, be an extraordinary spouse/partner today, be an extraordinary friend today. Do the thing you have been putting off for a while and do it today so you can tell everyone on Tuesday how extraordinary you were over the weekend.  Be extraordinary in something today.

Have some manners

I see it everyday and I am sure you do as well.  I am just as guilty as the next person from time to time.  That is not taking the time to engage and interact with the people you come into contact with.  Think about a given day.  How many people do you interact with?  The people at the place where you get your coffee, the place you get your breakfast, the bank, your favorite lunchtime spot, tire repair center, your local meeting place where you conduct business, where you have dinner, where you have drinks, your colleagues for that matter, etc.

There are lots of times throughout the day that you interact with people and I am guilty as the next person at times being so focused on what I am doing, sending that text, or reading the last email that just came in, that I don’t give the proper attention to a person that they deserve. Giving them your full undivided attention when they are serving you is the minimum, but why not go above that!

1.  Give them your full attention no matter what.

2.  Say Good Morning, Good Afternoon, or some kind of pleasantry.

3.  Ask them how their day is going.

4.  Tell an individual person that they are doing a great job and give an example of why you feel that way.  EX:  Wow, you all are really busy right now, I appreciate how quickly you are completing everyone’s order, thank you.

5.  Give someone a genuine compliment that they may not see in themselves.  This requires you to go above and beyond, but it can make someones day, week, or month.

6.  Always say thank you!

7.  You may not have time for this, but if you do, what a great way to be courteous.  I love asking people to tell me their story.  Yep, I ask it just like that.  How did you start working here, how long have you been here, what do you like most about working here.  Who knows where this conversation will take you, I really just love hearing the stories.

Will you always get a favorable response?  NOPE! But who cares you can only control your actions.  A famous author says that everyone is dealing with something, and the fact that you can change that in one minute with your interactions with someone, is pretty cool.

Most people and I am just as guilty of this from time to time as well, just go through the day not engaging with the people who are serving you.  This is called being average.  If you are reading my blog, I know you don’t want to be average, right?  So be different from everyone else, and go above and beyond to be courteous to others, some of this stuff is just basic manners, but I challenge you to do more, because that is what we should do.

Please share with me any stories of how you did some of this today and what the results were.

Brian Willett

Are you EAGER?

As a hiring manager potential candidates that want to work for our company ask me “What are you looking for in an employee?”  I have written about this subject a lot, but I have narrowed it down to something that is easy to remember and illustrates exactly what we are looking for when we hire someone.

We are looking for people who are EAGER.  The dictionary describes EAGER a few different ways, but the definition I like best is “very excited and interested: feeling a strong and impatient desire to do something or for something.”

I love acronyms (because it makes it easy to remember) what does an EAGER person who has a strong desire to do something and is very excited and interested look like?

They are:

E  ngaged:  We all know when people get engaged they are committing to each other that they plan on being together and taking the next steps to marriage.  An engaged employee is committed.  That means they are committed to being in the relationship between themselves and the company.  What this should mean is that they will do no harm, speak no harm, be fully committed 100% to the success of the company, and care about where it is going and their involvement in that direction. Sounds kind of like a marriage doesn’t it?

A ction Oriented: An employee that is eager is without a doubt action oriented.  They not only talk, but they put up.  They talk the talk and walk the walk.  They get things done.  They push things forward.  A person who is action oriented looks at a situation and then develops a plan to take action and follows through.

G  oal Oriented:  A person who is eager realizes to be excited and passionate they must set goals and have a desire to achieve those goals.  The kinds of goals they set are personal goals, health goals, and career goals.  Show me a person who isn’t eager and I will show you a person with no goals.  Goals push us to be more so we can become more and accomplish more.  Some people wish for things, and while those people are wishing, the people who are goal oriented and action oriented are achieving.

E  xcellence:  If you are looking to work with my team, you must get up every day and pursue excellence.  Excellence means you are not merely trying to do the minimal, you are trying to do more.  Average people do average work, talk about average things, and watch the clock, keep track of their hours, and count the days.  The ones who pursue excellence look at each day and say, I won’t stop until I accomplish what needs to be accomplished to push us forward and achieve our goals.

R  esourceful:   I love the definition of resourceful on the web. def:  having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties.  WOW!  These are the people I want to be around. Resourceful people find ways to get things done, they don’t complain about the wind, the weather, or give all of the excuses, they find a way to make things happen.  And I like how the definition of resourceful states that they find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. Which means these people are solution finders and not fault finders.  WHOA!  Fault finders is a blog topic all within itself.

So are you EAGER?  Please share with me your insights!  What does EAGER look like to you?

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