Good, better, best

As I mentioned on Monday, I will be going through some of my favorite quotes that rang true to me in Brad Lomenick‘s new book, The Catalyst Leader.  He is the leader of Christian leaders through the movement out of Atlanta, called Catalyst, and his new book is fantastic.  Definitely worth checking out.

Here is a great thought on excellence that I believe will greatly shape my future.

Good is doing what is expected of you.  It is slightly above average and requires some focus and determination to get there, but is relatively easy to achieve.  Better is rising a little higher than good.  It typically means you are comparing yourself to the next one in line.  But best is where you want to live.  It is greatness and doesn’t mean you are better than everyone else but that you’re working to your maximum capability.  It’s about confidence, not arrogance.  This is a standard unto itself.”  (p. 87)

This idea of good, better, and best has been the talk of leadership, especially through leaders like Jim Collins, but I definitely think Brad hits it on the mark.

He even goes so far as to quote Walt Disney: “Do what you do so well that they [your guests or clients] will want to see it again and bring their friends.”

So many times we tend to do the minimum required to achieve decent results but we may miss the mark on all the results that we could get if we put in that much more effort.  I have always heard that it is hard to get from 95% to 100% because it requires so much more focus than say going from 75% to 85%.  It is a smaller road to walk but a rockier road.

And as Brad points out, we must do a lot to go from good to better and than even more so to go from better than the other person to the best in the field.  There are countless examples of those who are the best in their field from YoYo Ma to Wynton Marsalis, from Michael Jordan to Barry Bonds, from Pele to Ronaldo.  If we want to be excellent, it will require a lot more than we probably set out to do.  But it will be better in the long run if we go after it with everything we have.

Here is another quote from Joel Houston, one of the creative leaders at Hillsong Church and Hillsong United discussing this great subject:

“Excellence is a spirit, rather than a presentation.  But if the spirit is there for excellence, then a great presentation will follow.  Excellence starts with attitude and a servant’s heart.  Lift the standard always and be relentless in the pursuit of perfection, but excellence ultimately rises and falls on the spirit of your people, and spiri starts with you as the leader.” (p.88-89)

So let’s decide today to lift the standard even higher than we thought possible and we will attain it as we trust in God’s strength and we will go even farther as we put our minds to it.


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