Your pursuit for excellence
There are three operating levels of excellence (personal, team, organization) that are important to your leadership success. With that said, let’s review them and as you read the brief descriptions, reflect on each operating level, keeping in mind your current mastery level and where you want and need your mastery level to be. Take note of how wide your achievement gap is on any or all of the levels.
1. Personal Excellence:
Personal excellence means that your focus is set on making sure you are operating at peak performance, being your best self and delivering optimal results in key areas of your life. You have a clear vision of the future you want to achieve; you have a clear idea of what you need to accomplish (both personally and professionally); you are willing to take risks, stay the course and never give up … no matter what.
It could also be that in your current state, you love what you do; your personal and professional values are fully aligned; you live a disciplined life and you never lose sight of your goals or compromise your principles.
Bottom line, you take full responsibility for your decisions and actions. You do not blame circumstances or people for your behavior. You are completely aware of your strengths and weaknesses and you take the initiative to pursue continuous development.
2. Team Excellence:
Why do some leaders succeed where others fail? Because they understand that success is a team effort where leadership and teamwork are totally interdependent. When you strive for team excellence it means … you encourage and reward collaboration; you know how to inspire others to be their best … and you have an extraordinary ability to win the trust of people and motivate them to action.
If I were to interview people in your circle (both personally and professionally) this is how they would describe their experience and interactions with you …”you do not encourage or reward negative behaviors; you are forgiving and do not carry grudges; you also don’t label, stereotype and pre-judge people; you take the time to get to know others and give them the benefit of the doubt; you are approachable, fair, honest, tolerant, dependable and caring; you value differences and you allow others the opportunity to learn and be their best; you know how to set goals, manage competing priorities and bring the right people together to accomplish tasks; you believe in developing others; you mange conflict and disagreement among team-members while preserving the respect of the relationships.”
How many of these statements do you know to be true about you?
3. Organization Excellence:
It’s interesting how many people define leadership as the sole responsibility of top executives – the ones with the perks and privileges. Very often we don’t recognize the leaders in the middle and the bottom of the pyramid who also bear responsibility for their group (i.e. make sense out of chaos … shift quickly from one failing tactic to another and keep doing so with a good attitude until the desired results are achieved (in a cost effect manner of course) … know how to unite individuals, groups, divisions, functions, or regions to work toward common goals for the benefit of the company…make decisions without having the total picture … decide quickly who goes and who remains and bear the brunt of those tough decisions.
When you are thinking about organization excellence you can’t be satisfied with the status quo … you need to have a genuine desire (irrespective of your level in the organization) to take the company to the next level, helping the company to stand out in its industry and recognized as the preferred company for its products and services in that industry.
In essence, you have a bifocal vision that allows you to master the art of balancing daily operational work while preparing the company for growth (i.e. introducing new ideas and new ways to give the company a competitive advantage). Your focus is not only on what is happening now … your interest is also on what’s happening next. Personal sacrifice is sometimes inevitable when deciding what is best for the growth and success of the company.
Is achieving excellence on all of the above levels important to you … why/why not?
FYI … it does not matter if you are at the top of the leadership chain, just starting your leadership journey or somewhere in the middle … excellence is a state of mind and can be learned … it is based on quality not quantity … so always aim for excellence.
To your continued success!
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