If you’re going to put your name on it, make sure that when it goes out, you won’t want to take it back – my partner looked at me and shook her head. It was true, my work lacked the intellectual rigor that I was used to delivering, and I had not put my best foot forward.
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Cue the perfectionist in me – but really, excellence is my North Star – it’s a choice I make every day that I get out of bed and it’s a conscious effort to be my best at everything that I do. Excellence must guide your life, what you do, and how you do what you do.
Excellence and Core Values
When I first founded Supercharge Lab, I was asked to name some of our core values in an effort to set right the corporate culture of the organization. One of the first things that came to mind was the word Excellence. But how do you pursue excellence as your guiding light? Here are some pointers from a Founder’s perspective:
1. Developing Excellence
Through the unrelenting development of expertise and a deepening of understanding, driving excellence is in the doing – you learn by doing, and by learning from doing, one drives excellence through the rigorous improvement of work. This results in an acceleration and creation of new capabilities, which continue the virtuous and positive cycle of achievement.
2. A Culture of High Standards
It takes making a habit of continually raising the bar to create a culture of high standards – at Supercharge Lab, we don’t try to marginally raise the bar – we challenge ourselves to exceed our limits exponentially. That takes having a general comfort with discomfort and embracing the unknown to drive ourselves to greater heights. Measuring performance is critical – you can only improve what you measure.
3. Excellence Begets Excellence
Excellence and mediocrity are not bedfellows – they never go together. Once you pursue excellence as a conscious choice, you start to attract similar people to “jump on the rocket ship”, creating a collective of excellence-driven individuals, with strong collaborative energy. This also means being comfortable with intellectual diversity – where one can embrace different points of view, ideas, and opinions.
There is never a wrong answer, as much as there are no right answers. All views are virtuous pursuits in the endeavor towards excellence, and one must rigorously test all means towards a belief of unending improvement.
So, what would you put your name on?