February 8, 2013

By Robert Murray

Because it is honest.
In our efforts to pursue excellence we will fail and stumble.  The beautiful thing here is that when we fail and stumble we can be genuine in our reasoning, “I was striving to be the best and I tried something that didn’t work.  So now I need to get up and try something different so you can be proud to work with me, so you can be proud to tell my story, so I can be proud to tell you my story.”

The other point of honesty here is that if you strive for excellence in a role or in an organization and you find that over time it is near impossible and/or it makes you feel bad or experience cognitive dissonance (a gap between your belief systems and your actions), then you know that you might be better suited for another role or another organization where your efforts to strive for excellence make you feel great about yourself.  So many times, people feel obligated to persist in a role or organization despite the fact that their true happiness cannot be obtained there. Just because you have been hired, doesn’t mean you must work until underperformance or conflict throws you out of your role or organization.  Having our people and ourselves be more honest about his will lead to much happier people and easier roads to excellence.

Because it is in the best interests of our customers, our communities, and our stakeholders.

If we all strive for excellence in our roles and organizations, our communities will be better off.  We will operate with more consciousness and impact the people around us in a way that will inspire.  In a society of 9-5 there is a lot of focus on 5pm, the end of that day when we can go home and start living our lives the way we want to.  I am arguing that if we strive for excellence, to be the best in the world at what we do, then we will enjoy our time at work and 5pm will not need focus, it will just arrive sooner than we anticipated.  We will enjoy being a part of something that is the best, something that can be looked at with respect and admiration of others, something that people can say, “wow, those guys care about what they do, they’re an organization worth looking up to, they’re an organization I want to work with.”

Because not doing that means we are settling for mediocrity.

If you are going to do something for a living, do it right, do it the best you can.  Do it so you can be proud to tell your story.  Do it so your family, friends, and clients can be proud to tell your story.  When was the last time you heard someone speak about how well an organization was doing at being average? When was the last time you heard someone celebrate that they were in the middle of the pack? If we push ourselves to be the best we can be, we can celebrate along the way.  We can look back and say, “I was a part of that, I made a difference, and I feel great about it.”

At Intrigue, we believe that it is not how we feel that determines what we do, it was what we do that determines how we feel.  So when we do great things, when our actions lead to excellence, we feel great about it!

So I guess the real question is…

Why shouldn’t we strive for excellence?  If you can answer that reasonably, I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

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Rob is an action junkie at Intrigue. When he isn’t meeting with clients to create marketing campaigns to grow their business, he is meeting with Chuck Norris to find out how he became the king of action. Rob is part of the Young Professionals Network of Guelph and the Master Planning Steering Committee for the Guelph General Hospital. When Rob isn’t working, he works on finding new ways to catapult himself through the air.

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