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The phrase “commitment to excellence” is often associated with great leaders. But what does it really mean? To understand that, it’s helpful to take a look at what it is, and what it isn’t.

What Commitment to Excellence Is

Goal-based. Leaders pave their way to excellence by setting and achieving goals. To improve your effectiveness as a leader, set goals for your store, your team, and yourself. To stay focused, define milestones that you can celebrate on your way to achieving your goals.

Consistent. If you’re driven to excellence on some days and not on others, you’re not really committed to anything. Commitment, by definition, is “the state of being dedicated to a cause or activity fully.” There’s a fine line between consistency and burn-out, though. Great leaders remain committed to their objectives while also finding balance in their lives.

Knowledge driven. You cannot possibly already know everything you need to know to achieve excellence as a leader. There are always more lessons to learn, more training courses to take, and more skills to develop. Great leaders are also avid lifelong learners.

What Commitment to Excellence Is NOT

All about you. The coach who nearly personified the expression “commitment to excellence,” Vince Lombardi, famously said, “The man at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” Lombardi knew that exceptional leaders arise from exceptional teams – one cannot exist without the other.

Perfection. No one’s perfect, and that goes for all successful leaders as well. In fact, there are numerous stories of success that were preceded by downright failure. Colonel Sanders didn’t sell his famous fried chicken recipe until he was 65. George Lucas nearly died in a crash as a race car driver before he gave filmmaking a shot. JK Rowling’s had her book about a young wizard named Harry Potter rejected by twelve publishers before she found someone who believed in her. Failure doesn’t stop exceptional leaders, it propels them.

A one-time thing. Leaders achieve excellence not because of one big thing they do right, but because of many small things they do well day in and day out.

Leadership Training Online

A commitment to excellence is just one of the many traits covered in the online training course “Leading and Managing Your Team” from ReadyConvenience. Click here to learn more.