What is a great company?
It is an organization that consistently sustains the production of predictable outcomes that satisfies it clients, stake holders and its employees.
This will promote the highest levels of quality and productivity in all you do. This means different things to different people. Look at college football. If you are the athletic director for a school at the caliber of Florida State, Ohio State, University of Texas, USC and such, you are not satisfied with anything less than 10, 11 or 12 wins in a season. Conversely, schools that are just happy to be mentioned for one of the 32 BCS Bowl games may be just fine with 7 to 9 wins. One thing is for sure, the organizations that build consistency into the operations and demand excellence will certainly be the one that has a healthier team and will continue to grow.
I am not a fan of mediocrity, so I suggest that we strive for the 11 or 12-win season. If you look at organizations like the New England Patriots, they have an amazing history of excellence and they do it with only a few outstanding players, not a team of pro bowl candidates. They have a blue print for their success. Not waiting for that perfect player or team of over-achievers, rather focusing on finding the person who will complement those players already there, the person who will make those around him better. Then they relentlessly pursue a standard of excellence without compromise. No matter what the roll, the position, the situation, every player is held accountable to perform at the highest levels they can at all times; thus the sustainability of the excellence. Each player knows what is demanded of them and that the team, the coaches, senior management, ownership and the fans are all expecting it.
While it sounds simple to some, it is very tough to execute because of people’s personal goals, desires, egos, power trips and hidden agendas. If it’s about the gaining power or individual gains, that’s on the losing end. If it’s about accountability, value, and leadership to others, then that’s a blueprint for winning. The results speak for themselves: (at the time of writing this) before embracing this mind-set, the Patriots had 6 playoff berths in 34 years, only 18%. Upon embracing the new blueprint, they made it 15 out of 20 years, an unprecedented 75% and made 5 super bowl appearances winning 3 titles.
One trait of thriving organizations is the consistency in what they do. They have a predictable way to provide a service or the quality of a product. The consumer experience is come to expect a certain level or value for their money. The company that ensures such deliverables is more likely to survive and thrive as to those that do not.
Sustainable Professional Excellence is a deep-rooted culture that is embedded into each and every associate on the team. From the top all the way to the front lines; from the way the phones are answered to how a product or service is delivered; It will show in the product, efficiencies, customer satisfaction, growth and ultimately in the P&L. You should want your weakest player to be an all-star at what they do anywhere else. Define what this looks like to your organization. Make sure that every associate that represents you in any way understands it, embraces it and relentlessly displays and supports it. Take pride in it. Every owner and executive should demand this without compromise. It is a choice to excel or to accept mediocrity. You choose.
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” ………Vince Lombardi