7th October, 2012
Einstein said – Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.
Excellence in anything is never God sent or inherited. It is the outcome of will, humility, sheer hard-work and perseverance. But working hard aimlessly and expecting results is also inappropriate. What we need to do is evolve everyday of our lives. We have to add something extra in our repertoire and push our boundaries. We have to constantly try to do better. This holds true for every human being working in any capacity. Patanjali Yoga Sutra stresses on two specific vikshepas (disruption) – inability to progress and instability in maintaining progress.
How do surgeons become talented? How do actors become brilliant? How do musicians become versatile and magnificent? They practice every single day. Initially, they do the routine stuff and focus on correctness. Soon they start doing it correctly but in shorter duration. Then they focus on developing their own technique, doing it in shorter duration with minimized steps. At the next level, they take up bigger challenges and try to master them. In all this, they never lose focus of the basics, but they never do the same thing in the same way forever.
This is the crux of business growth and sustainability too. Businesses of all sizes either survive or die because of these reasons. What is in the external locus of our control; we cannot do much about it. But what is within our means, we must endeavor to do and do it every single day without fail. That is how we form a habit; to excel in everything that we do however small or big.
There are six areas business owners should try to scrutinize every day to create business excellence.
Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. ~ Mark Twain
As a business owner, accept the fact that you are not meant to do mundane things. You have employees and technology to do the routine, repetitive functions and with greater efficiency. Yes, you have done the basics at the inception of your business but do you intend to remain stunted or you wish to grow bigger?
Don’t you brush, bathe and wear clothes each day? It is not a daunting task to do the six things each day. Doing it piece by piece you will be able to form a pattern and system which will help you accomplish all this everyday and in a reasonable time.
If you are not monitoring and keeping yourself abreast with all these then what are you doing everyday that is of value to yourself or the business? What are you doing that can be done only by you and no one else? The businesses which have made it big are the ones where the top management started focusing on macro issues instead of micromanaging things like reviewing purchase orders, making invoices, procuring raw material, and taking inventory.
End of the day you must honestly feel you have made some progress, you have learnt something new that will help you advance yourself and your business, you have done what you had to do and you know what you should be doing the next day and in future.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle