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Excellence Is Who You Are

by Richard Norris on August 27, 2015

Men Start Swimming Race

Excellence Is Who You Are

Excellence is who you are more than how you do things. You cannot succeed without excellence.

Hardly a day goes by when I’m not reinforcing the message to my kids that excellence is important. They know it because, as soon as I start saying, “The only job worth doing…”, they finish, “…is a job done well.” Interestingly, as they say this, I note them correcting the activity, attitude and/or behavior that I’m addressing. The sooner they learn this lesson, the richer their life will be and the better the example they will lead.

What does excellence mean to you?

To me, excellence is an all or none. However, it is relative – it means different things to different people in different areas. What is important is for each of us is to define excellence for ourselves where we aspire to it.

As each of us is created uniquely, we have our own unique experiences, abilities and talents. As such, we can be excellent in one area and not in another. Our excellence may also be on a different level to someone else’s. We cannot really judge another person’s excellence or lack thereof- we can only truly judge our own. Why compare apples with oranges?

Whilst we may not achieve an excellent result right away, we can, at least, start with an excellent attitude and behave with excellence. To truly excel, we must begin with the end in mind.

In the past week, the new swim season has started. I’m a volunteer coach at our local team. On the first practice of the season, the kids were reminded of the importance of getting their technique right first. They were reminded that excellence in results comes from excellence in form. As with any group, you can tell those who are motivated to excel versus those who are not. Our team has a great example. One of our swimmers is on the GB national team. He just got back from the FINA swimming world championships in Kazan. (There he made the finals in both of his events.) There are at least two up-and-coming swimmers I’ve noticed who are following his lead. I can see great things ahead for them too.

From experience,people with an attitude of excellence are most likely to go far in their sporting career. Or the most likely to graduate top honors. Or the most likely to lead their market. These are the people, teams and businesses who listen to wisdom, apply what that wisdom and learn from the experience. They know that excellence is a habit that comes from repetition of doing the right things right.

People of excellence may even be in a league on their own. But that doesn’t stop them from striving to be and do even better because they know they can. At those swimming  world championships, Katie Ledecky, from the USA, set a new standard. She is the first person, male or female, to have won 4 Golds in separate Freestyle events. She won the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m. She set two world records and for those races she was way ahead of her competition. She was not pushed by anyone other than her own standards of excellence. That’s what drove her.

Excellence is a commitment. You give your best, your all. You leave it all on the field…always. You do not look back. You keep moving forward. You aim always to stretch your comfort zone, to set new baselines, new limits. Excellence is not just a result; it’s a lifestyle.

If you show up, you show up!

When everything about you is the quest for excellence, then in due time, success will come. However, excellence never comes easily. It’s all part of your Journey of Success. To become excellent, you will face problems, challenges, setbacks and failures. But that’s okay. These sort the wheat from the chaff. These test those of you who truly want to succeed. You may even get hurt or damaged along the way, like a weight lifter’s muscle when he or she maxes out, but when you recover, you come back stronger.

Excellence is demanding. You have to work for it. Just ask anyone who is at the top of their game. Without excellence, success would not happen. That’s why Olympic athletes, pro golfers and F1 teams are constantly seeking the edge, to fine tune their performance to maximize their results and achievements. Excellent people are successful people. They never rest on their laurels. They do not have cruise control.

Are you any different?

Sure, you may not make the headlines, but excellence is in you. Trust me, it’s there. Don’t come to the end of your life where your prevailing thought is ,“What if…?” Let yourself be excellent. Let it out. Live and lead to such a high standard that no one can truly touch you unless they decide to follow your example. Do that and you will succeed. Do that and you will live with no regrets.

When you pursue excellence, excellence is who you become. It becomes your identity. The time to be excellent is now. You only have today. Make it your best. Sow what you want to grow. Be your best. Do your best. Give your best. You will then be blessed. Your excellence will pay off. It always does.

The only way to reach your dreams, to succeed is to reach your potential. The only way to reach your potential is to pursue and become excellence personified. The sooner you do, the sooner you will achieve the success you deserve and desire. So…whilst you are here on the planet, be excellent in who you are meant to be.

Your Powerplay

Commit to excellence today. Pick one thing and give it your best.

#BEGREATER

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For The Best Communication, Make Yours Timely

by Richard Norris on August 20, 2015

happy businessman receives good news on the phone

For The Best Communication, Make Yours Timely

Communication is essential for building relationships. To effectively initiate, establish and strengthen relationships, your communication must be timely.

When I was younger, my brother and I were driving our mum’s MG Midget when it broke down.  We were a good distance from home. The timing was inconvenient – as with any breakdown. The repairs were costly. Turns out the engine seized for lack of oil. Needless to say, with a little prevention (regular maintenance or, at least, checking the oil regularly), all this could have been avoided. Wrongly, my brother was blamed. This whole event impacted parent-son relationships adversely.

As oil is to an engine, so is communication to relationships. The right communication keeps a relationship operating well. Without communication, a relationship will seize. You can prevent relationship breakdown by ensuring that communication is regular and timely. Think family. Think marriage. Think team. Think friend. Think client. Etc.

As it happens, timely communication is a particular bug-bear of mine. Recently, I’ve been trying to communicate with a few people about a course I’m running. It’s actually a course I’m taking over from someone else. For the past 2 months I’ve been trying to contact the previous trainer to meet or at least speak to orchestrate a seamless handover. I’ve repeatedly had no replies to email or other messages. I’ve double-checked I had the right contact information and they got the messages (as near as I could tell). I’ve even had the leader with overall responsibility to try and make contact. Nada! Whilst I appreciate that other people have different priorities, it doesn’t take much to keep the communication flowing and the relationship going. Even a short reply or message to confirm they got what I sent and when they will get back to me would help. Timely communication helps manage expectations.

How good are you at communicating in a timely manner?

I learned early in my business that timely communication is essential. It helps establish, maintain and grow your reputation, credibility and relationships. In sales, I learned the importance of following up. I have always made a point of managing expectations – I tell the other party when to expect my next communication. My rule is to follow-up within 24 hours. No more. No exceptions. That applies be it after a meeting, a call, an email or a text. My form of follow-up communication is often a email, text and/or call. I make sure I cover all the bases. I usually make sure I know and use their preferred method of communication. I usually follow up within 6-12 hours. To me, as a coach, leader and parent, it’s important to lead by example showing that the other person matters. Timely communication shows respect, shows integrity and shows you value the other person. It shows you value their time and your relationship with them – whether it’s a new, growing or well-established relationship.

There can be no lasting creative communication and collaboration between people who share no values.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin

In this day of instant messaging, people expect communication to be prompt. Just think of text conversations you often have. Once you hit send, you hope and even anticipate that the reply will come back quickly. When it doesn’t, it’s quite possible you get irritated, frustrated and/or impatient. A first time offense you may forgive. A repeat offense and you may become unforgiving. You may even ignore or delay your response to give them a taste of how it feels. And/or that relationship slips down the priority list.

You’ve likely heard it said that you never get a second chance at a first impression. How you communicate is part of your modus operandi. It makes such an impression – for good or bad. Therefore, it’s important to mindful of your communication from the outset of a relationship – what you say, how you say it and when you say it. When you mind what you say and say it in a timely manner, you mine your relationships.

When I was training to be a business coach, the founder of the franchise stressed that you had to stay in contact with your database at least every 90 days. He emphasized this was to maintain the awareness of you in your network. This maintained recency in their mind. Failure to follow this timetable meant you effectively had to start all over. It’s far more time and resource efficient to maintain timely communication than to start over again. Starting over is costly. Timely communication is a matter of economics. You save time, energy and money when keep oiling a relationship with good and timely communication.

Other people may not communicate in an effective and timely manner with you. However, that should not stop you from setting the standard. Show you respect and value the other person – be that at work, rest or play. Oil that relationship. Initiate, follow-up and maintain all communication in a timely manner.

Your Powerplay

Strengthen all your relationships. For at least the next week, make a point to follow-up all communication within 24 hours.

#BEGREATER

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Parenting Is Not Meant To Be A Battleground

August 17, 2015

Parenting Is Not Meant To Be A Battleground Parenting can be tough, but it’s not meant to be a battle. It is what we make of it. What we put into it, is what we get out of it. I’ve heard it said that parenting is the best and toughest job on the planet. I […]

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