Excellence is defined as "the fact or state of excelling; superiority; eminence" or "The state of one that surpasses another in rank or quality".
Another way to look at it is: A focus on details that produces peak performance, which releases maximum potential, promotion, and honors God.
I like to break it down and say it this way. Excellence is "doing the best with what you have, and going above and beyond what is expected of you".
Excellence pays for itself in the end!
You can call it right or wrong, moral or immoral, but the fact is that, people DO judge a book by its cover. If you, your product, your business, your website, and so forth, looks as though it were thrown together or you just did what you had to in order to "get by", then you will repel people, prospects, and the like. Prospects, customers, friends, co-workers, members, and people in general are attracted to excellence. I'd like to share two examples with you of excellence. The first is of a once small organization, and the second is a very large organization.
Two Places, Two Sizes, One Level of Excellence
The first example, a once small organization, a church in Houston, TX, who took what resources they had at the time and made the most of it. At the time I first visited their location, they had approximately one hundred fifty members. I had seen their billboards, reviewed their website, and then visited their location in person. I was blown away. My first thought when I reviewed all three (billboards, website, and location) was "these people know the principle of Excellence". And that was before I had met a single person. When I discovered that they had only one hundred fifty members at the time, I couldn't believe it. It really drove home the power of an Excellent mindset and what doing things with Excellence can achieve. They didn't act like they were just a poor little ol' organization. They operated as if they were a one thousand member organization. They didn't wait around until their membership and finances grew to a level of one thousand. At the time they were in a shopping center, but you wouldn't know it by the inside. It was beautiful. Today their organization has grown, they are on television, own their own television network, and own a large building on prime freeway frontage – DEBT FREE! This is proof that excellence will promote you and your business or organization, and attracts others to you.
Another powerful example of excellence can be seen in this next organization. It is a much larger organization with more resources. But this company has practiced excellence since its inception, which is why it has grown to such magnitude of size and popularity that it has today. Who am I talking about? None other than the Disney Company. If you've never been to DisneyWorld in Orlando Florida or Disneyland in Anaheim California, I suggest you make one of your major life's goals to go; even if you're not a big fan of Disney characters, movies, or cartoons. If you are a student of success, a visit to Walt Disney World is an experience in education. If you've never been to DisneyWorld, but you have been to a local theme park, you're probably saying, "What's the big deal? I've been to theme parks before. It can't be that different."
I've spoken with many people who have recently visited DisneyWorld and the reaction is always the same. You can't begin to compare it with an everyday theme park as found around the country. The level of excellence that the Disney company operates at is astounding. The parks, and everything else on resort property, are immaculately clean. The rides are more exciting and entertaining than anything you've seen elsewhere. The theming is superb. Even the queues (lines for the rides) are full of visual imagery to keep you entertained while in line. And let's not forget the service. Service at the Disney Parks is second to none. Just do a google search for stories of families who have visited Disney Parks and you'll find countless stories of excellent, above and beyond service by the Disney Cast Members (employees). I just recently read a story of a couple who, when visiting DisneyWorld, lost their engagement, wedding, and anniversary rings by accidentally throwing them in the trash. After they left the resort, and reported them missing, the Disney resort staff went through an entire trash dumpster, after dawning protective gear, and piece by piece searched for those rings. You can imagine the outcome. The Disney staff found those rings and returned them to their owners.
Another account I read tells the story of Excellence by the Disney Parks. A young lady who had visited the Magic Kingdom was standing on Main Street USA. She was thirsty and was looking for something to drink. She saw a Cast Member nearby who was sweeping the trash from Main Street. She asked him where she could get a glass of water. With a smile on his face and with much excitement, he gladly pointed down Main Street towards a drink stand. She thanked him and went on her way towards the drink stand. As she was walking, the sweeper picked up his radio, called the Cast Member working at the drink stand to notify him that this young lady was on her way for a drink of water. By the time she arrived, the drink stand employee handed her the water with a smile and said, "Here's your water ma'am". Wow! Have you ever experienced excellence on this level from a shop, restaurant, or grocery store? If you have, I bet you are a regular customer.
Now what if that small church had dirty floors and bathrooms, messy nurseries, torn puppets, burned out light bulbs, and a sloppy dressed pastor? What if that sweeping Cast Member at DisneyWorld had huffed about having to help the young lady looking for a drink with a "Can't you see I'm not a food service employee" attitude? What if the rides were boring? Would you want to go back to either of these organizations? Well, unless you are a glutton for punishment, then no of course not! Excellence tells the story. Excellence compels you and says, "You want to do business with me, you want to work with me, you want to be involved with me and my organization."
Can you think of some areas in your personal life that you can be more excellent?
Private excellence is that part of your life that no one else sees. Here are a couple of areas in your private excellence that might be lacking. If Bill Gates or Donald Trump, or some other person that you esteem highly, were to walk into your closet right now, would you turn beet red? If the president of the United States, or the Queen of England needed a ride, would you let them in your car the way it is right now? You might say, "yeah but that's my closet, who cares? No one sees it." You see it, your spouse sees it, and God sees it. If you allow mediocrity in your private excellence, it will eventually creep into your personal and professional excellence. Mediocrity in your private excellence is also seen by your children, and is teaching volumes to the next generation. Is that what you want them to learn. Your excellence doesn't affect you, but could affect generations to come.