The Real Meaning of Chasing Excellence


This week we’re talking about a concept very near and dear to me — chasing excellence!


It’s not just the name of this video series, it’s an important thing to strive for every single day.


But how do you actually do it? One of my favorite authors, Jon Gordon, who we talk about a lot here, says the best way to chase excellence is to stop comparing yourself to others, and start comparing yourself to you.


The famous golfer, Jack Nicklaus says his secret to winning was to focus on playing the course, not playing the competition. What could he do at every single hole to make the best choices for that environment, and not worrying about what the other players were doing.


Comparing ourselves to others is a trap, Gordon says, and causes us to focus on everyone else’s gifts, talents and purpose, instead of our own.


So what is the challenge that lays ahead for you, and what gifts and talents do you have that can help you succeed?


Innovate around the things you or your company can do today to make your product the best it can be, rather than focusing on what your competition is doing.


What can you as a person do better today to make yourself healthier, happier or more successful? Don’t worry about what Frank in accounting is doing for himself today. Sorry, Frank.


When you truly chase excellence, rather than just trying to be better than the next guy, you’ll often find more success… and you wont waste so much mental energy worrying about what those around you are doing with their time.

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Resisting change in the workplace


Do you know what the most dangerous phrase in business is?


I say, it’s the phrase “we’ve always done it this way.”


Think about all of the companies who have said “we’ve always done it this way,” and have been so inflexible, that they didn’t see the future coming at them like a freight train.


Blockbuster video was so sure people would never abandon walking into a video store and renting a movie… Enter Netflix, and the whole operation unraveled.


Walmart, Target, Best Buy… All of them are now copying what Amazon’s doing with online stores, free shipping and better prices.


How does this apply to your business? What we learn from Blockbuster is - always be innovating. Always be looking at ways to make your business part of the future, rather than a relic of the past.


Is every change you make going to work? Probably not, but be light on your feet, and try  new things.


Figure out what success looks like in 3, 6 or 12 months, and if you’re not hitting those targets, re-think the plan.


Maybe it’s not all bad, maybe parts of it worked, and parts of it didn’t, so adjust on the fly.


And don’t be afraid to admit something isn’t working, both internally, and to your customers.


Blockbuster was a day late and a dollar short… and now, a company that was once worth over 8 billion dollars… has one store left in Oregon.

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Giving trust in the workplace


This week, we’re talking about workplace trust.


Do you feel like trust between you and your associates should be earned, or do you give it freely?


Gary Vaynerchuk, a top author and motivational speaker on building businesses, says that unlike most CEO’s, he gives his trust freely to his associates, rather than making them earn it.


Sure, every now and then, an associate will show him that they need more oversight, or they make a bad decision, but he says, unless you give your associates your complete trust, you’ll never see what they’re truly capable of.


If your associates know that they have to earn your trust, they’re more likely to align themselves with your point of view and your ideas, and you’ll accidentally create a workforce of people who all think alike.


To truly be successful, you need diversity of thought - people who have different ideas, and approach problems in different ways - not an army of lemmings.


Sure, it’s easier for you and your associates if they get in lock step with your ideas, but are you truly challenging them? Are your ideas really the best ones, or is there room for improvement?


Is it possible that people from outside may bring perspective you’ve never thought of?


Give your associates the freedom to win or lose on their own, give them guidance when they need it, and reign them in if they’re on the wrong path.


Giving away your trust from the get go will often times lead to better ideas, and more success in the long run.

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Spring cleaning time!


It’s starting to warm up in parts of the US, and with spring weather comes spring cleaning, so this week, we’re taking a look at ways to make your clean-out more effective.


First thing’s first - put the winter weather gear away. Puffy jackets, boots, snow suits and skis take up a ton of space, so the sooner you can put it in the attic or the basement, the sooner you’ll start to declutter your house.


Next, make a plan for each room, and finish a room at a time before moving onto the next one. Starting a project in one room, and then moving onto something else is a great way to make sure that project wont get done this spring, or maybe even next spring.


Focus on taking out trash that’s accumulated, donating clothes you either don’t wear or don’t fit into, and put away any seasonal items.


Also, pay attention to the small things that make a big difference. Door mats have collected dirt, salt and all kinds of other crud over the winter, so rinse them out, or use a leaf blower to get rid of the dirt.


Don’t forget about ceiling fans that have collected dust over the winter. There’s nothing worse than turning the fan on the first warm day of the year, and getting a face full of dust.


Go through your junk drawer in the kitchen. C’mon, we all have one… But now is a good time to get rid of those keys to your old office, cancelled checks and expired packs of gum.


And finally, toys. Your kids have grown, and so have their tastes, so it’s time to purge the toys they no longer play with, and even the clothes and shoes they don’t fit into anymore.


Don’t be too brutal - you still need things in your house, but try and let go of the ones that don’t serve a purpose, or bring you joy.

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