12 Steps that Inspire Exceptional and Defeat Mediocrity

“Good enough” cheapens the people who create it and the leaders who allow it.

Mediocrity degrades, de-energies, and devalues.

don't fight mediocrity

Exceptional elevates everyone it touches.

Mediocrity never:

  1. Inspires.
  2. Calls for commitment.
  3. Makes people proud.
  4. Honors customers.

Mediocrity is a shameful pollutant that belittles by underestimating potential.

7 causes of mediocrity:

  1. Lousy leaders.
  2. Confusion regarding strengths on the team.
  3. Fear of failure.
  4. Low expectations.
  5. Lack of focus.
  6. Insecure team members.
  7. Over-commitment.

Exceptional is the result of reaching beyond current performance.

Don’t drive people to remarkable. Give them a challenge that inspires their hearts.

7 questions to remarkable:

  1. How can you be an irritant against drifting into unremarkable?
  2. How can people do what they love?
  3. What memory can you create?
  4. What will make you proud when this is over?
  5. What’s important about this?
  6. How can you improve your last performance?
  7. How can you honor hard work that produces remarkable results?

12 steps to exceptional:

  1. Dedicate yourself to remarkable leadership. What are you doing to hone your leadership skills?
  2. Confront mediocrity, courageously. “We can be better.”
  3. Focus on behaviors you can change now, not tomorrow. Do something today that moves toward remarkable.
  4. Adopt noble mission.
  5. Create shared vision.
  6. Establish clear goals.
  7. Identify shared values. What guides behavior?
  8. Take chances and learn from failure. Caution and coddling prevent excellence. The path to exceptional is paved with failure. If you achieve exceptional on the first try, you’re mediocre.
  9. Become a feedback machine.
  10. Honor effort while celebrating wins. Don’t allow the path to exceptional to grow dark, angry, or negative.
  11. Bring in new blood. They see things you ignore. Remind them of mission, vision, values, and goals or they’re input will distract.
  12. Adopt a “do your best now” and a “do better tomorrow” approach.

How can leaders address a drift toward mediocrity?

What behaviors move organizations toward exceptional?