Written by: Mark Koulianos // Oct 31, 2019
Last updated: Nov 1, 2019
Last month I began an installment of the Essentials of Modern Leadership series by speaking about the importance of culture in the workplace. It was predicated upon how lasting success comes through leadership’s pursuit of excellence by adherence to guiding principles and the critical element of buy-in from the team. I’ll now elaborate further with three concluding strategies that, as I’ve found from experience, play key roles in creating a culture of excellence.
Set the Expectation for Excellence
The first is to set the expectation for excellence! Let your team know, from the outset, that you want it to excel in every way—from its biggest functions through the finest details. Mere execution of job tasks in a perfunctory manner isn’t the kind of hallmark you’re interested in. As this concept is consciously developed and bought into, it will eventually establish a reputation that will send a message that’s loud and clear: one that conveys—especially to prospective hires—excellence is expected here.
Constantly Seek Methods of Improvement
The second builds upon the first. And that’s to root continuous improvement in the DNA of your culture. This is an umbrella everyone on your team should live under. It’s imperative to constantly seek methods to get better. Many job sectors are changing rapidly due to economical or technological factors. Be open to overhauls, tweaks, continuing education, or anything viable to help you keep an edge. The drive for continuous improvement fights complacency and keeps excellence in mind.
Understand the Importance of Delighting Your Customers
Lastly, everyone on your team should understand the importance of the customer’s voice. I’ve always believed in delighting the buyer; that is, to provide value in terms of quality and price in such a way that the customer’s expectation is not only met but also exceeded. Sometimes, you can make good with delivery and price, but if a customer is dissatisfied with the result, candidly assess where breakdowns might have taken place in order to correct potential weaknesses. Remember, you’re striving for excellence!
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” This is one of my favorite quotations. It’s often misattributed to Aristotle, but it was actually Will Durant who wrote it to summarize an aspect of the ancient Greek philosopher’s thought. The smart leader understands that excellence isn’t indicated by singular moments, however positive. A culture of excellence is set when a sense of high achievement is the standard and permeates the ethos of your personnel and practices.
Create a Culture of Excellence with USF Office of Corporate Training and Professional Education
Mark Koulianos is the Executive Director of the USF Office of Corporate Training and Professional Education, which is dedicated to building a world-class workforce in Tampa Bay. Go further, faster! To learn more about USF's corporate training programs and how they can help you cultivate a culture of excellence, visit our website below.