(By Bob McCurdy) Last week I had the opportunity to address an agency at their annual gathering. The theme of their meeting was the “pursuit of excellence.” What follows are some of the talking points that I jotted down to discuss during my session, many of which resulted in some good discussion. A “sales guy” speaking with an agency regarding this topic? Why not, after all the fundamentals of excellence apply whether you are on “sell” or “buy” side.
Prepping to speak, regardless of subject, is always a good way to not only refresh oneself on the topic to be addressed but to also recommit to it as well. My talking points regarding this subject follow and have formed the foundation of my own personal pursuit. They are worth a five-minute read as you prepare to attack the new week and 2018.
Continual improvement is all about continuing:
- The magic isn’t in the size of your actions, but in the relentlessness of them.
Comfort zones are danger zones:
- The way to be professionally “safe” is to never be professionally “secure.” What gets you to where you are is not enough to keep you there.
Excellence requires reflection. It is “experience” understood in tranquility:
- Honest reflection, not rationalization; accept no intellectual alibis.
Most people operate below their potential:
- Life is like a 10-speed bike. Most folks have gears they never use.
One’s own resolution to succeed is the most important ingredient to success:
- Operate under the premise that “if it is to be, it is up to me.” Find a way or make a way to achieve your goal.
Always be looking for ways to narrow the gap between what you are currently accomplishing, versus what you are capable of accomplishing:
- Excellence is the gradual result of getting a little better every day. Don’t put your head on your pillow at night until you’ve learned something that day that will help you professionally.
Challenge your assumptions regarding what is “possible.” Practice “stretch.”
- The #1 reason you don’t accomplish more is you don’t expect more. As your beliefs about limits change, the limits themselves change.
Focus is largely a matter of deciding what things you are not going to do:
- Excellence requires sacrifice.
Expertise tracks with hours invested:
- How good we become depends on how hard we’re willing to work. Researchers now agree that about 10,000 hours of conscious effort is the minimum necessary to achieve expertise.
Pursuing excellence means we must “overcome” ourselves in some way:
- Habits are difficult to develop. A different result requires a different behavior. “Overcoming” requires discipline.
A man who waits for a roast duck to fly in his mouth waits a very long time:
- Things do come to those who wait, but only those things left behind by those that hustled.
Never commoditize yourself by comparing yourself to others:
- You will leave money and “potential” on the table if you do.
You have final authority over yourself. You make you. Your commitment to excellence is something you must work out with yourself:
- You are the sum total of all previous decisions.
Autograph everything that passes through your hands with excellence:
- Everything you touch communicates who you are and what you stand for.
Conventional wisdom is no wisdom at all:
- Relying on someone else’s version of reality is as smart as letting someone else pack your parachute.
If you want to be successful, do everything that is expected — and then some:
- Unrequired work is the great “separator.”
Your professional currency is your expertise:
- Excellence is never having learned enough. The only sustainable competitive advantage you have is the ability to learn faster. Take control of your life by taking control of your own learning.
Dissatisfaction is the basis of all progress:
- If you are content with what you’ve done, you will never be known for what you’re about to do.
To succeed is to change but to excel is to have changed often:
- The world hates change but it’s the only thing that brings progress. Those who resist change seldom profit from it.
If you are approaching your job the same way you approached it two years ago, the chances are that you’re approaching it wrong:
- Can’t be business as usual when the landscape in which your clients are operating has changed forever.
The successful person is the person who went about doing what others didn’t get around to doing:
- Under-performers are too busy to do what’s necessary.
The pursuit of excellence is a choice and the beautiful thing is that it is your own personal choice. Good luck with your pursuit.
Bob McCurdy is Vice President of Sales for The Beasley Media Group and can be reached at [email protected]