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Personal Development

The Trouble with Excellence

By David Ackert on August, 9 2013

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David Ackert

Our expectations are often unrealisticbusiness-people-starting-race when it comes to our performance. We expect top-tier results and criticize ourselves when our revenues are flat and our initiatives are unsuccessful. We forget that extraordinary outcomes are a product of extraordinary efforts, and the truth is that most of us tolerate mediocrity in our business development behavior. We set vague business goals and fail to track our actions against them. We show up to networking lunches without strategy or follow-up. We collect LinkedIn connections with no plan to leverage their networks. We neglect the advice of our mentors. We spend long hours in the administrative quicksand of our email inbox instead of “getting out there.” We opt for the familiar duties of client service over the potential rejection of client acquisition. Yet somehow this slapdash effort is supposed to yield a red-letter year, and we’re disappointed in ourselves when it doesn't.

The trouble with excellence is that it's earned. Many of us are unwilling to put in the time, effort, and discipline to produce the results against which we will ultimately judge ourselves. Honesty can be a bitter pill, but better to swallow it than to humor self-delusion. Ask yourself, “Am I truly willing to do what it takes? Am I willing to plan for success and eliminate excuses from my vocabulary?” If not, excellence will be out of reach for now, and until you can dedicate extraordinary effort, you may have to get more comfortable with predictable results. If that’s unacceptable to you, then consider that the next step is yours to take.


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