Everyday we have a choice to make. It’s not whether or not you have something to bring to the table, but whether or not you choose to bring it. Are you going to bring something you are proud of? Are you going to bring a message of courage, hope, truth, and love? We all have a unique personality, gifts, skills, history, voice, etc. Part of life is figuring out what those things are, but more importantly, learning how you can use them to benefit those around you. When you know what you bring and are ready to share it, there is another choice you have to make. Will you do the bare minimum or will you exceed expectations? Can people count on you? Will you “bring it” even if no one will ever see it? Will it be the best that you have to give? Excellence and Trustworthiness takes what you have to give and multiplies it 10 fold. It’s not enough that you are good at something, its how you operate in it that matters.
Excellence is never being satisfied with mediocrity, but always striving for your personal and professional best. This means the job is never done! There is always room for improvement. Let me be clear, this does not you have to be perfect. With perfection often times comes a fear of failure. This fear can be debilitating and actually keep you from ever improving. Failure is proof that you are trying and risking. The biggest mistake is being afraid to make one. Excellence is a challenge to continually raise the bar of your standards. In my life, I have found that excellence requires humility. If I think I am the best at something, why would I try and improve? This doesn’t mean I don’t take pride in my work (because I do), but it does mean that I am always willing to evaluate myself and look for ways to improve.
I will let you all in on a secret I learned about Eric and Sadie about 3 years ago (they would tell you themselves if you ask!). Eric and Sadie (Saric?) are pretty skilled at conducting interviews, and I remember talking with them about their interview philosophy. I asked Eric what the number 1 thing they both look for when interviewing potential staff. His answer was simple: Teachability. They have found most of what we do can be taught. Is it nice when people have the experience and education to back it up, of course, but not entirely necessary. Did you know that you can still be a confident and not have all the answers? Teachability is a mindset. It’s being confident in yourself, but recognizing you always have something to learn. For me, teachability is allowing others in my life to help expose areas that need improvement. Let me tell you, this is not always fun and most always, uncomfortable. However, I am so thankful for those “growth opportunity” moments because had I not had them, I would not be where I am.
Excellence and trustworthiness often go hand in hand. People know they can trust you because you operate in excellence. Trustworthiness is a matter of integrity. Integrity is honesty no matter the cost. We value trustworthiness, because we want to provide a safe culture not only for our clients, but also for our staff and ourselves. Think of a time in your life where you felt the most safe. I would imagine that was a really “good” time in your life (hopefully it still is). I am not surprised. We all have a desire to feel safe and taken care. Trustworthiness helps people get there. When people know that no matter what happens, they can count on you, things that once seemed impossible now seem possible because they have someone in their corner.
As I have said, trustworthiness and excellence are an everyday choice. It’s an honest evaluation of yourself. Here are some questions to keep the honest conversation going:
- Have you learned anything recently?
- Is there something you are working on improving?
- Do you have someone in your corner?
- Do you give other’s permission to speak into the unpolished parts of you?
- Who trusts you?