What is Excellence to You?
What is excellence? Well, it largely depends on whom you ask. Various people define excellence differently. Here at Awards International, we could argue that excellence is the inevitable aftermath of the blood, sweat and tears you put into your goal. Excellence takes its roots from lessons learned after each attempt.
Many casually mistake talent for excellence. But one thing is certain, excellence is so much more than that. Talent can be considered a natural head start. Still, it is only that - a start. True excellence is at the end of the road, regardless of your initial position.
Another common misconception is that the first step is the hardest. While not completely untrue, it still shouldn't be taken literally.
Let's illustrate. I wanted to learn how to cook. I was aware that I was a complete beginner, so I decided to start with something simple. So I picked the eggs up and, after a couple of attempts, managed to bake them to my liking. Now bear with me. This was the first step. However, it is here where my journey actually began. Now that I knew how to bake an egg, I realised there are so many options still unknown to me. What should I mix them with? What complements their taste? What about the seasoning? This is a typical example of a Socratic Paradox: the more I knew, the more I was aware of the amount of possible knowledge I've yet to attain.
I could have easily gotten overwhelmed with the amount of the unknown and decided to give up on cooking. This path would have led me back to a safe place, one where there's no (unnecessary) frustration. Or I could stop for a minute, think about which path I wanted to take and explore. This one will offer many trials and many errors, but it will inevitably take me to places I've never been before. This one might lead to excellence.
So, let's try to list essential factors for excellence:
A clear idea is what will distinguish a stray from an explorer. One must aim high and map out their way to their goal before embarking upon this long journey. The idea is the one thing that will make sense when everything else does not, so it is important to have one and believe in it. This takes us to our next point:
Regardless of the quality of the very idea, its true value lies in your faith in the process and the idea itself. It's easy to have faith when everything is coming along the way you imagined it, but in reality, we often experience unexpected setbacks. Here, our faith should serve as our fuel to go on. Remember, your belief is the only thing no one can take away from you.
This part is self-explanatory. You have to care about your initiative. The lack of care will definitely mirror itself in poor results. They can still be decent but never excellent. Not without genuine care. Not without passion.
The Latin saying Per Aspera Ad Astra - "through hardships to the stars" paints an everlasting point. It can be very frustrating and painful. Failures can be discouraging, but you should perceive them as lessons from which valuable knowledge can be derived. Every mistake will help you get closer to understanding what works and what does not. The challenges and obstacles you will face will raise your awareness of how to work within constraints. They will inspire you to look for alternatives, new approaches and different perceptions.
Do not be afraid to experiment. Taking a risk is almost always an investment if it is thought through. If you always stick with the familiar, chances are you will stop changing. This doesn't mean that the world will stop changing. Stagnation would become regression in this case. Instead, be brave and put yourself out there.
Last but not least, you will need to persist. You will need to give yourself time to achieve excellence. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Impatience can be your worst enemy, whereas patience can be your best friend in your endeavour. Excellence is truly an investment that keeps on giving, like a tree that was planted a long time ago. But you need to start thinking and commit yourself to excellence!
Our lives are full of comparisons. We can choose to compare ourselves with those who do more with their life or with those who do less. The choice is ours, and so is the fruit of our labour.
If you've decided to take the path of excellence, join our International Business Excellence Awards '21 and get a chance to connect with others like you. You will also be able to get valuable insights from a panel of independent judges with a lot of experience in the business world.
Our early bird period which grants registration at a discounted price ends on August 26th. Recognition awaits!