This week I got the opportunity to see excellence up close. I took several of my team to visit a couple of other teams out of state. Our goal was to get better by studying how others approach their business. The experience was amazing. We learned so much in a short two days.
To become excellent you first have to know what excellence is, and it is best to see it in action. When you see true excellence for yourself you can begin to visualize what it would look like in your own environment and circumstance. While my team mingled with the other team members I spent time with the owners to learn from them. Each of these guys has achieved excellent results over a long period of time. Here are three distinct things I picked up during our time together:
- Great selection is crucial
When you hire the right person, training is easier. When you hire the right person culture is embraced more quickly. When you hire the right person they add value early on. When you hire the wrong person, training is difficult and expensive, culture can be damaged, and they can be a drain to the organization. Great selection trumps a lot of things in business. So select the right people.
- Try to make things simple
One of the owners I spent time with kept saying, “We just try to make things simple.” I think that naturally life and business just get more complex. More data, more procedure, more customers, more team members, more legislation etc. Complexity happens. This owner works really hard to cut through of all of this and communicate simple clear messages that inspire action. Make it simple for people and they can actually go and do something.
- Just keep getting better
Both of these owners and their teams are passionate about getting better. I think it is the driving force in their work everyday. They are very different in personality and even strategy but very like-minded in this approach to improvement. I heard one of the team members say, “If we can improve something, even if very slightly each day, at some point we will look back and be amazed at how far we have come.” That was from a team member, not the owner. They have created a culture of getting better every day. It has been said to become excellent you first must study excellence. Going to see it for yourself is a powerful experience. Who or where can you go to see excellence in something you wish to be excellent in?