By Beverly Jackson
Director, Human Resources
September’s value is Excellence. What does Excellence mean to you? It is defined as “greatness – the very best!”
Every organization aspires to excellence. We all want our company to be the best at what it does. We want there to be long lines of people waiting to benefit from our service and long lines of people waiting to join our team in providing that service.
The road to excellence starts with an organization’s people. Does that mean we must hire individuals with degrees and certifications from the most prestigious universities? Adding that type of talent can be a good thing, but it isn’t a guarantee of excellence. Excellence is about your vision and your beliefs, and how you exhibit and share them as you go about your day. As you are rushing to a meeting do you stop to provide assistance? Do you even notice that assistance is needed? Are you present in your interactions throughout the day? Are you self-absorbed or self-aware? Are you passionate about what you do?
John Maxwell states, “You are nothing unless it comes from your heart. Passion and caring create excellence.” Maxwell goes on to list three ways to spot passionate people:
1) They work with their whole heart
2) They work with undistracted attention
3) They work with maximum energy
Every month we have examples of employees whose passion drives them to excellence, resulting in actions that are above and beyond. The employee who drops everything to welcome a prospective resident when that is not her role. The employee who, when asked to come in and fill in for call-outs, walks in at 7:00 a.m. during a snow storm and walks back home at 11:00 p.m. without complaint. The employee who takes the time to purchase and read books published by a resident’s spouse in order to build a stronger bond with that resident and help them recover from the loss of their spouse. These are examples of people working with their whole heart. They are focused on and energized by what they see as their purpose. Their excellence is a direct result of their passion. My guess is that they did not wake up that morning saying, “I am going to go above and beyond today;” rather, their passion is an unconscious force that drives them to these levels of excellence.
If your passion has faded, reignite it by reconnecting to your strengths and finding the purpose in what you do. Robert Mondavi, a leading vintner, summed it up best when he said, “Follow your passion. Pour in your heart and soul. Settle for nothing less than excellence.”