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Seeking Excellence

Excellence is a frame of mind.

If you think and act as though you will always deliver excellence, you have a better chance of realizing success in your business ventures. Those who spend their time dwelling on fall back positions for the goals set out, tend to indeed fall back. Those that move aggressively but thoughtfully ahead, tend to advance. Find the right balance both in yourself as a leader, but equally important, find balance with the team around you.

This does not mean you operate a business ignorant of the possibility of making mistakes or experiencing failures. Most successful entrepreneurs would say planning for success includes knowing what to do when things do not go right. In fact, successful entrepreneurs would argue that the way in which they handled challenges (and failures) defined the level of success they achieved. As an entrepreneur, it's an interesting duality to navigate but critical to understand and get right.

As an example, you may be asked to pay attention to a risk issue brought up by an investor. It can take your attention off the path forward, but better judgment does not always prevail. Business activity in one direction slows down in favor of another less fruitful. What is typically at fault here is a lack of communication or proper business analysis of a critical situation. This leaves the decision to be driven emotionally from business participants who have less time to be in the know than you or your team.

The prudence (and ultimately experience) that comes out of planning how you fall-back tends to add confidence in how you plan to move forward. Much like an army fighting for territory, you map out the 'what if' moves as much as you can so your team can go in and freely operate with the advance knowledge in place of how to address the challenges that arise. They can react independently but with the knowledge that reactions are consistent with overall goals. The balance is right and everyone moves ahead together towards the next milestone.

Early stage leaders tend to set out aggressive agendas for their teams. These are largely fueled by the lack of experience that might otherwise have told them to tone it down (e.g. ignorance is bliss). What's interesting to observe is that these same early stage leaders often become hesitant in how they lead, not sure over time of how to react to the realities and challenges of growing an innovative business. They do not have the experience to view challenges as positives, they develop a fear of decision resulting in a hesitation to succeed.

Leadership, especially in the position of a CEO, is a lonely plateau to stand on. Many entrepreneurs become de-facto business leaders without having gained the a-priori experience of those who might have worked the trenches to earn equivalent positions through promotion. Starting your own company is the fastest way to earn the CEO title, but is also the fastest way to learn that business leadership is one of the biggest challenges you may take on in your work career. Excellence and success are hard attributes to realize in combination. If it was not, most companies would be successful and bankruptcy would be a non-issue.

This core section of InsideSpin identifies many of the important attributes needed to achieve success for your business (and yourself). The messaging encourages an early start towards achieving excellence, so as your business grows, it matures with the right structure and right attitudes to not just achieve a level of first success, but sustain success beyond the initial business or product idea you may have. It turns you into an on-going and highly competitive business venture right from the start. (Seeking Excellence Topics)