3 Questions to Ask Yourself in Pursuit of Excellence

pursuit of excellence

My friend Danny Rohrdanz once said to me, “Actions speak louder than words but attitudes speak much louder than actions.” Isn’t that true?

Attitudes are critical in every facet of our lives—at work, at home, and in public. Our attitudes can determine whether we have success or failure. And if you want to achieve excellence, you’ll need a good attitude. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself in pursuit of excellence.

1. Do I have a good attitude?

At work, you can have all the skill in the world, but with a bad attitude, that skill loses a lot of its value. At home, I can do wonderful things for my family, but if I do things with a bad attitude, what I do loses its meaning. I’ve tried to teach my kids that their success rarely will have as much to do with skill as it will have to do with attitude. In pursuing excellence, we can only attain it if we are humble.

What’s one way your attitude could be better?

2. Am I making things better?

Tony Dungy has talked about how his dad taught him it’s not excellent for you to participate in the problem and not provide a solution. When you see problems, either with people or situations, it’s better to resist getting defensive or placing blame on others. The person pursuing an attitude of excellence simply and quietly owns his or her own mistakes. No matter how difficult a problem is, look inward, stay transparent, and navigate toward being part of the solution.

What is one problem you know about that you can make better?

3. Am I being a good steward?

When I say “good steward,” I’m talking about a person who uses time, talent, and treasure wisely. Excellence can’t happen if I’m wasting time, if I’m not focused on my strengths, or if I’m wasting money. I often try to remind myself and those I work with of the concept of “edit to amplify.” The idea means you seek to cut things—even good things—if those things aren’t the best use of your time, talent, or treasure. This is much easier said than done. One example for me is speaking requests. I’m grateful for the speaking requests I receive. But, after many years of serving in my role, I’ve learned that I can’t speak at as many events as I once did. Instead, I need to be a good steward by saying no in order to stay hyper-focused in other areas of my life—and in order to pursue excellence.

What is one thing related to your time, talent, or treasure that you need to steward better? 

What else does a person need to ask him or herself while in pursuit of excellence? Share in a comment below.

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