Pursue perfection and you can achieve excellence

How do organizations answer the call to pursue excellence? A good leader challenges their organization, team or group to accomplish great things. In this article, I have listed four necessary principles that I believe must be present in organizations to effectively pursue the call of excellence.

Principle No. 1: An awareness of the reality that the organization is not where it should be.
A leader should always define the true reality of the organization’s condition. You need to recognize that the condition must be improved, cultivated, nurtured and strengthened. A clearly defined reality of understanding that the organization has room to grow must be the beginning of the call to the pursuit of excellence.

Principle No. 2: Giving maximum effort in your pursuit of the goal.
There must be a commitment by the organization to pursue the better condition. That commitment means striving for the best processes, the best people and the best plans. This is like a runner straining every muscle while running to win the race. We run, we pursue, we chase. We haven’t arrived, it takes maximum effort. It doesn’t happen by intermittent effort; it demands consistency.

Principle No. 3: Focused concentration.
I’m amazed at how many organizations start with great energy only to lose focus when immediate success is not achieved. Like the great performers who can block out all distractions while focusing on the goal at hand, organizations must stay focused to achieve excellence. In making maximum effort there’s a concentration point beyond which you focus.

The athletes who run during a race must fix their eyes on something ahead of them. They cannot watch their feet or they will fall on their face. They cannot watch the people around them or they will trip while somebody passes them on the other side. Your focus is straightforward on your goal and your call to excellence.

Principle No. 4: Sustained motivation.
The call to excellence must permeate every aspect of the organization, team or group. The continuous effort of pressing toward and pursuing the call of excellence should be the heartbeat of any organization, team or group. Organizations are continually looking for ways to keep their people motivated utilizing monetary rewards, recognitions, promotions and other incentives.

These are all supportive elements, but the No. 1 element in sustaining motivation is the goal itself. Make the call to excellence the goal that drives your motivation.

So what does it take to effectively pursue excellence?
1. Recognition of the need for a better organizational condition.
2. Maximum effort in pursuit of that better condition.
3. Focused concentration on the one goal of that better condition.
4. Motivation to pursue that better condition.

The great football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” ●

André Thornton is president and CEO at ASW Global.