What does excellence mean to you?
Excellence can be defined as being exceptionally good, as outstanding, being much better than average. Excellence is something that most people look up to. If we are honest with ourselves, though, excellence is also something that, at times, feels like it is beyond our reach. It is much easier, today, to be less than excellent. The only problem is, that excellence is built slowly, decision by decision, action by action. If we aspire to excellence, we cannot ignore our actions today.
Excellence Requires Vulnerability
Excellence requires us to be true to ourselves. If we want to develop excellence we need, as Brene Brown points out, to learn to be vulnerable, to show up as our authentic self. This can be a challenging concept. Doesn’t vulnerability mean being weak, and exposing our weaknesses so that others can take advantage of us? Yes, on one hand that can be the case. There is inherent risk in being vulnerable. However, vulnerability is courageous and bold. It is the necessary ingredient for a child taking their first step and also for a rugby player making a run for the try line. If we truly want to be excellent, we have to be willing to show up and try; to show up and take a step. We have to be willing to do things that may not work out. Without this ingredient, we cannot be excellent.
Excellence Requires You and Me to Take Responsibility
When we are aiming for excellence, every action, every win and every failure is an opportunity for us to learn. When we come to the party with excellence as our measuring stick, we have an obligation to ourselves to take responsibility for our actions. It is no longer sufficient to pass the buck or ignore the problems that we have seen. We are compelled to take action. We are driven to find solutions and make things better for ourselves and those around us.
Excellence is a Team Sport
Excellence in the workplace is a team sport. We are able to become excellent when we value and respect one another. There can be an expectation of excellence when we all learn from one another, ask for help and give help. No-one on the team is exempt from the need to ask for help. Everyone on the team has something that they can teach others. Do you want to develop excellence in your team? Find ways to build one another up. Are you leader in your group? Find ways to serve those whom you work with. Create the space for every single person to make their greatest contribution.