“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.”
― Steve Jobs
When was the last time you looked at a piece of finished work and felt proud that you had achieved something very special ? That you had achieved excellence ?
Perhaps not as often as you would like.
There are always reasons – I will not say excuses. Time constraints, budgets, other people. Our own motivation can be a factor. I have found that most of these ‘reasons’ are down to a lack of preparedness. I say preparedness because achieving excellence has to be considered like preparing for a military campaign and your enemy is mediocrity.
So in order to achieve excellence, we must be prepared. Nothing I am about to say is new or innovative, just common sense:
1. Set a goal of excellence
Picture it and visualise the journey.
2. Pay attention to detail
Excellence is not achieved with a ‘big hand, small map’ mentality. You need to know every detail and also be able to see the big picture. No short cuts and no approximations.
Invest time and effort into knowing everything you can about what it is you are doing. ABL = “Always Be Learning”.
Your attitude affects you and those around you. Think about the impact you are having and establish if you are doing things which are harming your chances of achieving excellence. Be a positive influence and share your knowledge to support delivery of the goal.
5. Learn from mistakes and prevent future problems
Analyse failures and succeed next time by quickly building the lessons into processes and procedures. No blame, no recriminations. Just don’t make the same mistake twice !
Be proud of your own efforts and those of the team around you. Celebrate your success and show off.
I will leave you with these words.
“My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest.”
― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield