By Bryan K. Williams

Excellence is one of those words that is thrown around everyday, but many people don’t stop to truly grasp the full meaning. The root word in excellence is excel, which means to go beyond. Beyond what? (I’m so glad you asked). To go beyond what is expected. It means to exceed expectations, and exceeding expectations has NOTHING to do with meeting expectations. They don’t like each other, and are always in a fight. Like light and darkness, one is always seeking to dominate, but only one can prevail. If I order a cup of green tea, and you bring me the cup of green tea, that is not excellence. Even if you are smiling and the teapot is made of gold, that is still not excellence. That’s just a “dressed up” version of meeting expectations. It’s merely “meeting expectations” wearing a tuxedo or an elegant dress.

Now, if while serving the tea, you tell me about the region in China where the tea leaves were harvested, and how long the cup of tea should steep, and the ideal water temperature it should be, and the health benefits of green tea, THEN, we are entering the land of excellence. Nothing else will do.

Everything I just described requires everyone to understand and energize the purpose of their role. Leaders always communicate the purpose. We need to raise up a generation of leaders who stop blaming their team's low performance on the economy, the local culture, the age group….and start looking in the mirror. "Do I genuinely believe in the potential of each person I am privileged to lead?" The true answer to that question will always jump out of you.