Those who know me already know that I have an almost sick obsession with being the best at everything I do. I guess it is my competitive nature that drives this behavior. It is a hard line to walk between my desire for being the best in every aspect of my life, but also having the serenity to know that it is never obtainable.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, I wake up every day with a laser focus on being the best. I ask myself every morning, what I can do today to be better than I was yesterday; as a leader, a husband, a father, or as a solution for my valued customers, etc...
I have always lived under the principle that if you provide a superior service at a fair price, you will always remain busy. So far that principle has served me well (knock on wood). However, this article isn’t about me and my relentless pursuit of perfection. This article is about focusing on being the best at what you do, no matter your station in your life.
On the business side it doesn’t matter what your role is in an organization. If you draw a paycheck then you are an important member of the team. It should always be your main focus to be the best you can be at that position. If you are digging a ditch, then you should focus on being the very best ditch digger. This is the true measure of a person’s character. I have spent my entire career focused on being the best team member I could be and focused on making the company the most money I could, regardless of what tasks I was given. This is the best advice I could ever give anyone. If you focus on the success of your team, rather than on your own selfish needs, you will always be in demand and rarely need to worry about money or keeping your job. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well’.”
It has always been strange to me that many people look past the receptionist at the front desk, or the janitor that sweeps the halls. Their role is every bit as important, if not more so, than that of the CEO.
Let’s look at the receptionist for example. When someone enters a business, the receptionist is the first person they meet. If they call the office, they are the first person to whom they speak. Have you ever heard of first impressions? How well the receptionist does their job, how clean they keep their desk, and how warm and welcoming they are, will definitely have an effect on your customer’s impression of your business. If first impressions are so important, then in turn so is the receptionist.
The same holds true for the janitor. Can you imagine what the place would look like if you didn’t have someone who cleaned up the place and kept it looking like a professional work place?
I bring these positions up because many times people take them for granted. In fact many times we take other very important people in our organization for granted. It makes it very difficult for a team member to put passion and desire into their job, if they feel they are being taken for granted. Always remember that every team member is important and has their role to play in the success of the business.
With all that said, how do we become the very best? Well you can’t! Remember, that is how I started this article. You have to understand that being the best isn’t really a goal, it is a desire. However you should strive to achieve perfection with every fiber of your being.
The difference between being ordinary and world class is often only one second. If you think about it for a minute you will begin to understand what I am saying. In most cases the difference between a gold medal winner in the Olympics and the person who came in dead last is less than a second. So these athletes train day after day, night after night, to gain that second over their competition.
If you want to be the best, then you also need to have that passion and work ethic. You have to want it more than you want to take your next breath. You need to dedicate your time and efforts to being the best. This means training, practicing, and conditioning day after day, night after night, to gain the one second on your competition. This is the portrait of a winner and it doesn’t matter what you do, you can be better at it; and people will notice. Good luck and train on!