Listen to this definition of excellence: Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible. I just think that is a really interesting thing – think about yourself and how you are doing in a caring scale, how you are doing in the risking scale, how you are doing in the dreaming scale, and how you are doing on the expecting scale. I really think that’s a wonderful definition of excellence. Be excellent today – care, risk, and dream and expect big.
Speaking of excellence… At the University of San Diego, my wife Margie and I teach a course as part of the Master of Science in Executive Leadership program. Our course is “Determining Your Leadership Point of View.” Your leadership point of view is really figuring out who you are as a leader, and sharing it.
There are seven aspects of it:
- Who are the role models you had early in life that impacted your belief about leadership? Most people don’t talk about bosses; they talk about their mother or father, uncle or cousin, teacher or coach—what we call “lifelong leaders.”
- What’s your mission in life? What are you trying to accomplish?
- What are your values – what’s going to guide your behavior?
- Based on those three things, what’s your leadership point of view—what are your beliefs about leading and motivating people?
- What are your expectations of others?
- What do your people expect of you?
- How are you going to walk your talk? How are you going to model what you say you stand for?
It’s a fascinating process. We discuss this in Chapter 15 of Leading at a Higher Level. So if you want to find out more about that, get a copy of that book and read that chapter. If any of you haven’t developed a leadership point of view, I would like to challenge you to develop it. Then sometime, maybe in the first part of next year, sit down with your people and share your leadership point of view with them. Because it really does clarify expectations and who you are. It’s not about weakness; it’s about sharing who you are so other people can share who they are with you. It’s a wonderful process. And remember, it’s not just supervisors that should have a leadership point of view—all of you are leaders in some aspect of your life. You’re a leader as a spouse, as a father or mother, or as a volunteer. Anytime you try to influence the behavior of someone else, you’re engaging in leadership. Where did you get your image of leadership? I challenge everybody to develop and be able to share their leadership point of view.
2 thoughts on “Excellence”
The definition of Excellence you used is, well, Excellent!!
Excellence is opposed by “conventional wisdom” (usually!), by false logic, peer pressure, “settled science” and faces relentless opposition.
As your old friend Tom Peters said, “The people who would beat the ‘champions’ down have logic on their side.”(Thriving on Chaos, 1987).
This makes so much sense. Be the change you want to see said Gandhi one of my enduring role models. In my experience many people including myself get lost in noise, in trivia, day to day living, performing and excelling. Our doingness takes over and we forget our beingness. And the good thing is that by pausing to reflect on these profound questions we can rediscover it and be who we love and want. The choice is ours.
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