Thursday, May 8, 2014

Learning to Scale Excellence

I was in a bar full or weary travelers a few weeks back. We sipped our beverages with our eyes on the floor dreading the journey ahead. It was a somber scene. Just then, an extremely odd and slightly inebriated young lady burst into the bar. Within minutes she had introduced herself to everyone in the place. The collective was initially annoyed by this young lady's disruptive exuberance but she eventually won us all over. What was a pity party turned into a celebration of our good fortune because someone dared to add a spark to the room. How quickly our misery can turn to jubilation.

In business we are constantly judging others. Is that guy worthy of his position? Is that lady deserving of her book of business? He's only successful because he takes credit for the work of others. She is disorganized. He is ruining the customer's confidence. We sure do know how to beat up on one another.

There is a reason why there are 10 people on the court and 20,000 in the stands. We judge and criticize because we either do not possess the skill or we don't have the courage to try. The hardest thing to do is to pull up your bootstraps and risk failure. It's far easier to pretend you were great once and to tell such tails from a lonely bar stool.

Each person has a unique set of skills that has its divine place in our collective success. Sometimes we fail to give people the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes people fail to see their own excellence.

We need to see the greatness in everyone and to help them see it in themselves. Yes, it will be hard!

Why So Serious..?
You don't need to talk to me. Is what I said to the bubbly drunk girl who lit up the bar with her spirit in that lonely airport. "I know" she said and kept smiling at me. I quickly forgot why I was acting like such an asshole.

Our perception and attitude steer each day. We face unfair circumstances, the incompetence of others, and conclusions that are beyond our control. Our time with our peers is spent complaining...what a waste of precious time.

The Weight We Carry
Kevin Durant recently gave glory to god and credit to his family and teammates as he was rewarded for his individual outstanding achievement. Some thought his tears in the moment were a sign of weakness, in reality he had offloaded the weight of expectations. As a son to a single mother, Kevin Durant lived with a sense of abandonment that made him continually question his greatness. Now he had been validated and could sleep soundly at night.

The expectations we put upon ourselves are always greater than those of others. We put things off for fear of confrontation and they snowball. Avoiding discomfort turns mistakes into catastrophe. If we put things off long enough we become obsolete. Then we find ourselves on the corner stool, remembering when we failed to try.

Simplicity Overlooked  
You may be exceptional at your job but possess no personal excellence. You may have an abundant social life that effects your true potential on the job. Everyone has pliable skills that make them magnificent. We need to allow for them to shine.

Patience is a virtue. People will screw up and let you down and make poor choices and act out of character. You'll meet a person who allows their ego to punish their charm. You will meet smart people who are inarticulate.

We need to learn to give people a break, to accept faults in others, to remember we are imperfect, and to move through this life in discovery of what is genuinely important.

Don't Forget to Remember!


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