The Battle Against Mediocrity
Greg Allnutt, one of our Strategic Advisors, tells us why he sometimes feels like Batman!
I sometimes feel a bit like Batman, pitched in a constant battle against the arch villain, Mr Mediocrity.
He shows up every so often when I am working with businesses. Its usually when I ask a hard strategic or challenging question.
He responds with:
“We are kind of doing that…..”,
“We are pretty much…..”,
“We sort of did that….,”
“We kind of tried that….”, or,
“We are OK at that….”.
My response is usually something like:
“Well, are you or aren't you?”,
“Did you or didn't you?”,
“Is that all you want to be…OK?” AND
“A Yes means absolutely in the way described, and if not, then the answer is a No!”.
Are you playing to win?
When we are competing in the market place, we are playing to win. And if you aren't, then I can assure you that someone else is. If you are trying to be at the top of the pile, or desire to be leading the pack, then you must be vigilant against mediocrity finding its way into your business. We must always be learning, challenging, measuring, and seeking to be better - some say we need to get 20% better every year just to keep up and keep slightly ahead. If you are leading it is easy to become complacent, and it doesn't take long.
If we hear words being used like: kind of, sort of, pretty much, ok, satisfactory, etc, as leaders we must challenge ourselves and each other to be better.
Ask: What parts aren't we doing? What could we do to do it better? If we were to be 20% better what would that look like? What would we have to do differently? Asking this gets away from incrementalist improvement thinking and seeks real change in the pursuit of greatness.
Surely, we must want to be better than average or even good. Mediocrity is the enemy of excellence, but leaders get what they tolerate. So if Mr Mediocrity pays a visit, stop accepting his excuses and show him the door.
Ask the hard questions and expect more. Pursue excellence relentlessly.
#PursuitOfExcellence, #Leadership, #Excellence