The new year has not started off well.
Regardless, exceptional leaders continue to strive for excellence, despite disruption and negativity.
The late Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1940-1945) (1951-1955) gave us this definition of excellence:
Excellence is … Caring more than others think is wise; Risking more than others think is safe; Dreaming more than others think is practical. Expecting more than others think is possible.
You might have to read it a few times to absorb the full power of this message, but it’s certainly relevant today. Yes, we can achieve excellence, even when it doesn’t seem possible. It just takes effort.
Evaluate your level of excellence as defined by this definition.
Caring – Do you show that you really care? Or is there more you could and should do? Think about your organization, team, customers, community.
Risking – Are you taking the kind of reasonable risks that will catapult your organization to a higher level? Or are your strategies and plans safe and conservative? Think marketing, competition, market share, new products.
Dreaming – Do you have an exciting vision for your organization (or yourself) that is a stretch? Or is your vision simply boring words on paper? Are you operating the same way as you always have? Think improvement, creativity, innovation.
Expecting – Are the challenges you’ve given those in your organization practical given the resources allowed? Or are they basic, mundane performance markers? Think growth, quality, customer service performance.
To be clear, Churchill’s words challenge us to be better—to be more exciting—than ever before, despite our present-day obstacles.
Let’s embrace this excellence challenge.