It’s Time to Kick Mediocrity to the Curb

It’s time to kick mediocrity to the curb.

We’ve become a nation of ‘tolerators’. We expect bad service. We tolerate poor corporate leadership. We barely question biased journalism. We buy mediocre products. We’ve grown immune to hype and overblown marketing messages. And it’s coming at a price. Our businesses are suffering. Our schools are struggling. Our spirits are sagging.

And if that got you mad—or even a little bit irritated—good! You’re exactly who I’m talking to. We need YOU to start leading the way out of this mess. We need leaders who are ready to take a stand for something of quality and meaning in the world. Even if it’s just your tiny spot in it. We’ve got a big job to do…but I know you’re up for the challenge.

Here is my challenge for you:

  1. Get On-Mission.

By virtue of the business you run, career you’ve chosen or the position you hold you’ve said yes to a mission. You’re there to make something positive and meaningful happen (and if you’re not…then what are you doing there?!)

But as I look around I see too many people struggling in their careers and businesses because of one simple fact…they are off mission. Results aren’t what they used to be. Their influence and impact grows weaker by the minute. And they are left wondering why they aren’t getting the results they want. They’ve lost their sense of direction and purpose and are floundering to make sense of it all.

One of the fastest ways to get off mission is by chasing money. When a business owner gets confused about why they are in business and starts focusing solely on the next big revenue number…trouble follows. Same is true when an executive chases money at the expense of everything else. Businesses falter. Lives come unraveled. Health suffers.

Don’t believe me? Look at what’s happened in our financial markets recently. Making money became the mission above all else. Bad decisions were made. Ethics were lost. Integrity abandoned. But big money was made. Until it imploded.

This has started happening in my world. Somewhere along the way in the online world of virtual coaching and internet marketing many people seem to have lost sight of a bigger purpose and have started chasing the holy grail of ‘million dollar’ this and that. While we definitely want to build sustainable businesses in this fairly new field, making big bucks can’t be our only mission or we will surely fail.

Money in and of itself isn’t a bad thing to want and have. And every business must be profitable to survive. But money is a horrible substitute for a mission or sense of purpose.

  1. Good enough isn’t Good Enough

It’s time to raise the bar. Good enough is no longer good enough. I’m not asking you to strive for perfection, but I am asking you to strive for excellence. BE the leader in your field or industry. Set the example. Don’t just talk about making a difference…BE the difference.

How can you add more value to your products and services? How can you inject a sense of excellence in your everyday interactions? How can you work your personal magic on a bigger level for those you touch?

This isn’t about striving for the unattainable. It’s simply about reaching for the next level. It’s the best antidote to mediocrity.

  1. Lead. (And follow like a leader.)

It’s time to stop looking around at what everyone else is doing. It’s time to stop waiting around for someone else to show you the way. It’s time to stand up and lead. If you recognize opportunity for things to be better then you’ve got what it takes to lead the way.

If you can see where things are going wrong—in your business, industry, department or neighborhood—then you have a vision for change. We need leaders with a vision. We need leaders who can confidently follow their own voice first and foremost. We need you to point us in a new direction.

And when you do decide to follow someone else’s lead, make sure they live up to your exacting standards. Make sure they are leading you up a mountain you’d be proud to stand on. The most important decision you get to make each day is who you are listening to and who you are going to follow.

So, do you accept my challenge? I’d love to hear from you!

5 Responses to It’s Time to Kick Mediocrity to the Curb

  1. Carra RIley says:

    Shawn, You have hit the nail on the head with our tolerance of mediocre behavior. Why is it we are putting up with this way of life? My friends and I have laughed about the bar of expectation and how we have to just “step over it.” I have another friend who says he needs a geiger counter as the bar is under ground… so your challenge is perfect.. that we set the standard of excellence in what we do and expect the world to behave the same way! C quality work is not acceptable! Right on!

  2. Rick Butts says:

    Hey Shawn –

    My sad response to mediocrity has been to mutter a 2 word phrase every time I run into it – “of course…”

    When confronted with the monotone slack jaw vacant stare across the counter asking me “may I help you?” with obvious disdain or apathy.

    Of course

    When the “company policy” treats me like a nuisance instead of a valuable resource called “our customer”

    Of course

    Don’t even get me started about Million Dollars Hype Sales letters for the next get rich on the Internet screed…

    Of course

    But, while I’ve become the Cynic’s Cynic, I do stand up and sing the praises of people who do things well – people who stand up and make a difference.

    I can see you are fed up with mediocrity and look forward to seeing you make some noise.

    You inspire me.

    Of course… 😎

    Rick Butts

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