Everyone wants to be successful in life, business, vocational pursuits, sports, academics, finances or whatever. But is there something even better than success?
Success is often measured only in relation to the accomplishments of others. If a salesperson sells 5 homes in one month but someone else sells 6 and is named Salesperson of the Month, many would say the seller of the 5 homes was not really successful after all. Success, then, is often tied to competition and outdoing someone else, one-upping all others.
Excellence, however, is an animal of a different stripe. In Rising Above The Crowd, Brian Harbor differentiates between these two. ” Success, to many, means being better than everyone else. Excellence means being better tomorrow than you were yesterday. Success means exceeding the achievements of other people. Excellence means matching your practice with your potential.” In short, success is being the best while excellence is being your best. If our workplace definition of success is about being #1 at all times, we will likely set ourselves up for failure. But if our standard is true excellence – being our best on any given occasion or workday – then we will often find great reward in life and work.
Stop pursuing success. Pursue excellence instead. Be your best. Be better today than you were yesterday; go further this month/year than you did last. Work smarter, wiser, more efficiently and with greater precision now than ever before in your own life. That is excellence. And, the standard may be different tomorrow; the bar may be slightly higher but I’ve watched many of you on the Elliott Team and you’re doing just this.