reaching the gold standard
By pa360, Feb 18 2015 05:50AM
Being consistent is one of the hardest things to do. But when your standard of consistency is defined by striving to be the best, then that's a whole different matter. Amongst all standards, the pursuit of excellence is the gold standard of consistency. Why? Because excellence is a constantly moving target. Take touch screen mobile devices as a case in point; a few years ago these gadgets were considered groundbreaking, but no longer. Today, the market is saturated with them and that which was once considered cutting edge is now considered common-place.
The same case can be made for motor vehicles. I was watching a programme recently which looked at driverless cars and driverless parking. At a point in time these innovations may well become the benchmark motor vehicle accessory and when they do, manufacturers will once again have to raise their game to meet consumer expectations. In such a constantly changing environment, opportunity will always be heavily weighted in favour of those in the relentless pursuit of the next 'big idea'.
The key point to make here is that you can be consistently good, but others may be consistently better. Therefore, being consistently good is unlikely to be good enough when the bar is constantly being raised by others who are consistently better.
The application of this principle is not just for businesses it is also for individuals. The desire to improve and the efforts we make to do things better make us competitive in the market-place for jobs, promotions and recognition. So how do you get to achieve excellence? More importantly, when you get there how do you remain there?
Well here are three key tips. Firstly always be willing to learn. By learning I don't just mean being open-minded, I mean being curious. Learning opens the way to understanding and with greater understanding you increase your capability to raise the bar.
Second, don't be afraid to try. There is no point learning things if you are unprepared to put whatever you have learnt into practice. In your pursuit of improvement you may get things wrong, however by refining your approach you increase the chances of getting it right next time.
Thirdly, be restless. In effect, don't rest on your laurels or let the grass grow under your feet. There is always capacity for improvement, see what others are doing measure yourself against the best in class. If you achieve the first thing then reach for the next thing.
Above all, remember that excellence is a state of mind as much as it is a measure of accomplishment. Whatever is excellent today, may not be excellent tomorrow.