This series covers the 12 Habits of Effective Entrepreneurs. Click here to view previous articles.
Habit #10 – Excellence
“The supply chain is tight and input costs are high, but we could finish this run if we purchase parts from this other manufacturer,” said the procurement agent.
“But that would compromise our core value of quality,” said the CEO. “Their parts are inferior.”
“I see no other option,” said the procurement agent.
And, so, the order was placed, and the parts were installed. The products sold and shipped.
Shortly thereafter, the reviews and returns flooded in. The part was breaking, rendering the product unusable. The supply chain issue rapidly became a crisis management issue.
While the company circled back to its core values of integrity and quality to make it right, there was a concerted need for damage control. And, in the end, the costs were high with regard to time, money, and most of all, trust.
What was the real issue?
While most would shrug and say it was a supply chain issue, it actually went deeper. One foundational tenet was dismissed, and that was excellence.
With the company’s reputation for quality, excellence had been instilled into the company culture as a habit. The designers designed with an eye for excellence. The manufacturers produced excellent products. The customer service team served with excellence. Fulfillment was carried out with excellence.
But on that one fateful day, they broke the habit of excellence.
And it was a costly lesson to everyone.
Establishing the Habit of Excellence
NASA has gone to great lengths to study the effects of microgravity on the human body. While weightlessly floating around is intriguing, doing so for an extended length of time can take a serious toll on the human body. This is called atrophy. Muscle and bones begin to deteriorate. This is because the body needs the resistance of gravity in order to maintain strength and functionality.
It is the same in business. Resisting and overcoming challenges strengthens the organization and its team. Giving up and giving in results in atrophy.
Atrophy’s opposite twin is perfection. While these two qualities look different, they have the same effect. They weaken the organization.
The perfection indicator lights in a business are controlling leaders and disempowered employees, slow growth, lack of agility, sluggish sales, weak marketing, and over-analysis. It is most impactful on decision-making.
To be competitive in business, you must find the balance between atrophy and perfection; and that balance is on the fulcrum of excellence.
Fighting for excellence is the organizational gravity that helps prevent atrophy. And it is the propulsion factor that overcomes the effects of perfectionism.
Striving for excellence results in solid quality, but also agility. It strengthens the organization, creates efficiencies, and engages teams to bring their best strengths to the table.
Are you looking to create a quality product or service, deliver well, and create profit in your organization? Making excellence a daily habit for yourself and your team is a great place to start!
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer, and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, and using the Maxwell Method, Deb helps leaders and teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results