Excellence is not a rigidly defined entity across space and time. It is not a measured standard or a set of capabilities in an individual or an organization. It is regarded as outstanding or very good. It is, in fact, a heady state of mind; an unyielding passion; an attitude; and a definitive choice people make to be as good as they can be, or even better. It is a stretch, a constant strive for perfection. Aristotle claimed it thus, “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines your destiny.
The yearning to be outstanding and to do our best is inherent in all of us, just as excellence is a definitive choice, an attitude, and a state of mind. Why inherent? It is inherent because the yearning is as natural as that of a bud opening to become a flower, an acorn stretching to become an oak tree, and the sun rising to shine at daybreak. We are born, we are alive, we have intelligence, and it is natural for us to want to grow, to improve, and to excel. Because we can think about, wish for, and dream of excelling, we can also achieve that state and that destiny. We can conceptualize excellence, and the resources and strategies lay waiting within our systems to manifest that dream. The challenge is in releasing those hidden, conscious and unconscious resources and abilities within us and in deploying those strategies towards our dreams and chosen destinies.
Over time and space, there have been numerous technologies that have been designed and effectively developed to unleash excellence across organizations and in individuals. My recommendations are simple and have delivered successful results.
• The process begins with not just working at but with deep, burning probing to obtain clarity about what it is we want exactly, and why. From sheer reflex, most people respond with catch phrases like success, happiness, money, efficiency, increased market share, etc. All of these responses are fine, but thoughtful precision and purified clarity are required. Over time, our wants and desires turn blurry and our ability to maintain clarity becomes dulled. This is where external support with coaching and coaxing is needed. A series of meetings in conversation with a qualified coach or consultant will help sharpen that ability and crystallize your dreams.
• After obtaining clarity, a well-thought-out design and an action plan will be created. This fail-proof design must be doable and flexible in the face of constantly changing circumstances and market conditions. In individuals, a code of discipline and personal commitment must be embedded in the design. In an organizational setting, the dream and the plan of action must have an alignment of values and a buy-in from all the players and stakeholders.
• The final step for unleashing inherent excellence is to take deliberate, massive, and conscientious action every day and every moment. In a world that is in a constant state of flux, people tend to withdraw into their comfort zones and seek safety in a familiar but unmoving state. This generates lethargy leading to atrophy and thus, failure in achieving dreams of growth and excellence. Unless we execute our plans and take action, no dreams or designs of success can come to fruition. This step takes up the most energy and effort. It is also the only area where ideas can be validated, measured, and improved to gain success and eventually, to move toward excellence and realize our destinies.
The desire to excel lurks within us and so does the power and capacity to achieve that state of excellence. It is up to us to choose and begin to Unleash Excellence Inherent in us.
Let any doubt you may have in your inherent excellence evaporate in the clouds where this persistent seagull practiced and smashed through limits.
“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.” From the book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach.