Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year Resolution for Excellence

It’s New Year’s Resolution time and here is a common resolution I hear:

Level 1:  “I’m going to step it up this year.  I am going to re-commit myself, work harder, and put in even more time.”

This one gets repeated annually unless, hopefully, a light goes on:

Level 2: “I’m going to keep working harder, but also work smarter!”  And the process of learning about best practices that others use ensues.  Many go off to get an Executive MBA degree!  Good choice if it is Maryland.

This is the best that most people do in their lives and careers.  And it is pretty good.  You work hard, you keep up on trends and best practices.  You’re probably a bit above average.

But let me ask you this?  Is that all you want?  And who are the people that invent “best practices?”  People who reach:

Level 3:  “I’m going to innovate.  I am going to set Almost Impossible Goals and then work to invent new processes, technologies, procedures to produce breakthroughs in performance – not just incremental change.”  Of course, this requires a high tolerance for failure, or even better – a different relationship with failure.  Read more about how to learn to Celebrate Noble Failure and set Almost Impossible Goals here.

I think you should work as many hours as you want.  And I definitely recommend studying best practices.  But the excellent performers are those who invent the best practices that others later read about and try to replicate.  I hope you make an Excellence New Year’s Resolution and wish you the best in achieving it.  Doing so, you will make even more of a Mission Impact.

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

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