#2, Passionate, Focused Leadership. In the previous article titled, "Transforming Ordinary Into Extraordinary", I listed the 6 factors that drive excellence and help you achieve extraordinary results. This article is part 2 of a 6 part series that will be published over the upcoming weeks, which will provide a more in depth discussion of each of the factors.
Passion for excellence drives extraordinary results. Have you ever looked at an extraordinary achievement, and thought “Wow! How did they do that?”, and hopefully, “How can I do something extraordinary?”.
When you watch Michael Jordan leap through the air to score the go ahead points in a basketball game, you can see his passion! When Tom Brady, renowned quarterback for the New England Patriots, needs to lead his team to victory at the peak of a football game, you can see his passion for excellence all over him… his intense body-language, leadership of the team, and in the way he instills that passion in all of his teammates. They are determined to score, determined to win, determined to be the best!
When you watched Steve Jobs deliver a speech or talk about a new innovative Apple product, you can FEEL his passion. His meticulous attention to detail, emphatic demands for excellence, and push to be “extraordinary” is well-known. He has passion for what he is doing and what his company is doing. His passion and quest for excellence makes him extraordinary, and his accomplishments extraordinary.
When you watch, Joel Osteen, the pastor of the largest church in the United States, you can feel his passion. So, why does Joel Osteen fill stadiums with followers every week, and have the largest congregation in the U.S.? He is not your “ordinary” preacher that talks about the same ordinary things, in the same ordinary way that other preachers have done for many years. His message is positive and inspiring, his approach is innovative and modern, and his audience can feel his passion for doing great things, and they are being inspired by his passion for excellence.
" Without passion, you don't have energy; without energy, you have nothing. Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion"... quote from prominent, billionaire businessman, Donald Trump.
Focused Leadership: While having passion is very instrumental, that passion needs to be focused. If the passion is wondering or unfocused, it can be disruptive and unproductive. Therefore the passion needs to be focused and directed towards the goal/target. You must know how to properly channel that passion in a way that supports and energizes the drive to the goal/target.
Find your passion for excellence! While you may not be the next basketball or football superstar, or you may not invent the next amazing technology, each of us have talents and something that makes you feel passionate… you just need to find what that quest is for you. If you don’t have it in what you are doing currently, keep looking. Pursue how you could ignite the passion for excellence in what you are doing,, and if it is not possible in your current endeavor, then it’s probably time for a change. My company, Xtrii, conducts seminars, presentations, and one-on-one sessions to help people, teams, and companies find and ignite their passion for excellence. If you or your organization is searching for the catalyst to help you achieve your best, invest in proven expertise to help you find your passion for excellence.
Passion for excellence is contagious, but the lack of it is also. When a Leader sets a lofty goal for the team, the team is impacted by more than just the words that are spoken, they also watch the body-language, the tone and conviction in the leader’s voice, and their level of passion for excellence. Great leaders inspire the team, and their passion for excellence is contagious. Make sure your passion and actions, match your words and goals.
Pursuit of Extraordinary: At Xtrii, we founded the company with a single mission in mind, helping our customers achieve extraordinary results… or as we call it, "Xtrordinary results". Please join us in this pursuit. Let’s challenge “ordinary”, instill passion for excellence, and start transforming the ordinary into extraordinary.
In the previous article titled, "Transforming Ordinary Into Extraordinary", I listed the 6 factors that drive excellence and help you achieve extraordinary results. This article is part 1 of a 6 part series that will be published over the upcoming weeks, which will provide a more in depth discussion of each of the factors.
#1: Target to be the best - to some this factor may seem obvious and simple, but you would be amazed how often people, including people that are designated to be a "Leader", starts off an initiative with the wrong target. They inquire as to "what has been done in the past", or "what is everyone else doing", or other language that is setting the tone to be "ordinary".
If you want to be the best, you have to target to be the BEST. You must clearly and definitively set your target, and the target for all participants, to be the best.
When you set this target to be the best, expect some push-back. Some people are uncomfortable with "extraordinary", or things that are outside their ordinary, comfort zone. You will either have to help them get on-board and fully embrace this target, or remove them. As we will discuss in more detail in another upcoming article in this series, there must be a unwavering commitment by all.
In today's ultra-competitive market you better be "extraordinary", "remarkable", and "excellent", or you will get lost and soon overtaken by a competitor that has set the right target. Today's market is also fast-moving, so if you are targeting what competitors have done in the past, you are playing a loosing game of catch-up. Don't target where the market has been, or where it is today, shoot for where it is going, and where you need to be to stay ahead of your competition, and be the one that customers see as the "Innovator", "Market-Leader", and "Standard of Excellence".
Pursuit of Extraordinary: At Xtrii, we founded the company with a single mission in mind, helping our customers achieve extraordinary results… or as we call it, "Xtrordinary results". Please join us in this pursuit. Let’s challenge the status quo, set the target to be the best, insist on excellence, and start transforming the ordinary into extraordinary.
What’s the difference in “ordinary” vs. “extraordinary”? Whether you are talking about people, companies, products or services, there are common factors that drive and determine the difference. Most of them will only achieve ordinary. Why? Well, most of them think ordinary, they get guidance that is very ordinary, they set the same target as everyone else, they take the same cookbook actions that everyone else is taking, and they perceive that they are playing it safe by doing so. But actually, being ordinary is not safe, and is definitely not the best bet.
Only a very few will ever achieve truly extraordinary results. Extraordinary requires that you think and act different than the ordinary. Factors that drive excellence and help you achieve extraordinary results include:
1. Target to be the best.
2. Passion for excellence.
3. Visualize and believe.
4. Action and execution.
5. Unwavering commitment and pursuit.
6. Learn from others.
History provides examples: While achieving extraordinary is challenging, sustaining it is even harder. History is full of great examples of companies that were once the prominent, market-leader, such as Kodak, Xerox, and Nokia, that became complacent, and over time they became “ordinary”, which ultimately led to their fall from grace. Even renowned companies that were dominant and once looked unstoppable, like Microsoft, Dell and Apple, are now facing criticism and challenges about their recent lack of innovation or lack of new products that are extraordinary. Don't let your organization be the next example.
Call to action: We need bold leaders that will step up, challenge the ordinary, and become the catalysts that drive us to achieve "extraordinary". Be leery of companies that propose the same old products and cookie-cutter, “ordinary” approaches. Assess whether they have all the factors for extraordinary results that are listed above.
Pursuit of Extraordinary: At Xtrii, we founded the company with a single mission in mind, helping our customers achieve extraordinary results… or as we call it, "Xtrordinary results". Please join us in this pursuit. Let’s challenge the status quo, instill passion for excellence, and start transforming the ordinary into extraordinary.
Mark Johnson is the Chief Executive at Xtrii. He is a proven, 10x CIO, renowned, global technology advisor and business leader.