Demand Excellence

Either you are excellent or you are making excuses as to why not.

When I say, ‘demand excellence,’ I am not talking about being a drill sergeant, yelling and screaming. I am talking about having systems in place that are excellent. Excellence is everywhere and it’s who you are. When your systems are excellent, you don’t have to yell, scream and ‘demand’. It just is. In other words, you are commanding excellence.

Have you seen managers TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in their E-mails before? That oozes a sense of lost control. There are layers of ‘other’ meaning sent in these E-mails, which are above and beyond the words – none good. Excellence is a byproduct of your systems. Focus on excellent systems and there will be less chasing of your results. Employees have no choice but to live excellence because that’s what the culture dictates.

Systems are the fabric and the building blocks of each organization.

Poor Customer Service

From where does poor customer service come? I believe that poor customer service is most often the result of poor and failed systems. Where does the company want you to think poor customer service comes from? The employee! Have you seen surveys that companies send? They are designed to find fault in the employee, not the system. I also believe that employees can show up to work with a smile on their face, but can be sabotaged by processes that don’t support excellence.

When your systems are not excellent you send a clear message to employees that they do not have to be excellent. If we are not excellence the how can the employees be expected to? How will they have a path? Lack of excellence certainly lays out reasons and excuses for employees not to be excellent.

I am talking about being excellence. Management should be held accountable for excellence. It’s not often that this is the case. Fingers are pointed to the employee.

Let’s say that a company doesn’t update their internal sales fliers correctly. The numbers are wrong. There are inaccurate promotions going out to the sales people. The sales people now excitedly promote all the wrong information to the customers! This affects the credibility of the salesperson. Somewhere the ball is dropped by the official who entered these figures. It happens weekly in one area or another of the company. Who is accountable?

No one is. No one steps up. Blame and finger pointing would at least recognize that there is an issue. But, apathy rules the day. The employees are getting the wrong information. There is no culture of excellence in this company.

Instead, every action and interaction must be excellent. Make a commitment and a conscious decision that all work with excellence. Every task and job must be performed with excellence. This is the only thing you’ll accept. This is the commitment. Love it. Love excellence. It goes to a higher level when you love working with excellence. It becomes fulfilling. It’s a drug. The excellence with which you work with is the reward.

Unclear Goals

I know of a company that has retail representatives visit grocery stores. But, these representatives have just a vague idea of what the company wants from them. When a company presents their goals in a gray area (in this case, there are no clear goals stated), then the employees work in a fog. They show up to work, but hide because they don’t really know what to do. This sends a terrible message and allows for lack of excellence. It ‘okays’ it.

I believe that the employee wants to work and can even be excited by it! But, in showing up for work, the employee doesn’t know what the heck to do, so she does what she has been trained to do (that’s another can of worms, lack of training). The scenario boils down to this.

  1. No goals, no directions, no measurement of these goals.
  2. Admonishment, yelling and screaming for not achieving those goals.

Sadly, this is a real world corporate scenario that I am seeing as of this current year. The first thing you need to do is give everything you have to each moment, each situation and each person. Your commitment to each employee is to be thorough and give your all. This way, all your “i’s” are dotted and all of your “t’s” are crossed. The employee perception now is complete. When you live in the former situation of unclear goals, yelling and screaming, you create an entirely different perception – that you’re nuts.

Yes, I write about, “The Beauty of Problems,” and love to embrace problems so they can be fixed!  But, don’t fall into the trap of thinking there is only one problem. Yes, we want to solve the problem and find out what the cause it. Yes, we do need to know how this happened and we do need to fix it. But, most importantly we need to understand that it’s the process. It’s the system. It’s the culture. There is a lack of demanding excellence in your organization. There is allowing crap performance. Don’t let this happen. You are sending a clear message to your employees of how to act.

Instead, live with an attention to excellence that bleeds everywhere. Remember, either you are excellent or you are making excuses as to why not.