“They say what doesn't kill the soul will make you stronger, but you can't be a stone-hearted man.”
― Anthony Green
I often see organisations project and verbally support a culture of excellence.
Yet it is in the actions of their leaders that you truly find out what an organisation stands for.
It is when employees deliver excellence feel that they are chosen last in line, mediocrity enjoys support over and above excellence due to the actions of leaders, that companies become morally and financially bankrupt down the line.
Whether it has the heart to take the necessary actions and cut ties with mediocrity as soon as possible. Suppliers, customers, workers, whatever, where ever.
For leaders to verbally support people, customers and suppliers who expect and deliver on excellence is one thing, but it is in the act of their actions that you will know what an organisation stands or falls for.
It is with continues support for supplier who get everything wrong, constantly. The client who complains about everything, every time. The subordinate who is still around even if they are toxic to the fabric of the culture, because the leader's influence doesn't connect with the action of expecting excellence. The sunk cost of supporting mediocrity and losing face, about being wrong, rears its head. The result is a demotivated work culture, and there is no real quick fix for it. It is part of the fabric by then.
Implementing excellence adds heart to what you do, you need to be cruel to be kind. Mediocrity on the other hand, just saps energy and it is only a question of time before it all grinds to a halt. There is nothing kind about it.
It is about having enough heart, strange enough, to not expect or tolerate anything less than excellence. Because it is impossible to have heart when mediocrity is around.
The inspiration which Apple products and the organisation oozes with would be impossible to achieve, if it was built by leaders and created on actions which supported mediocrity in suppliers and in themselves. To be Apple, takes excellence. The action of excellence. It is at the heart of what makes it great. The dream to tolerate only the best.
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Werner du Toit
Author of "The Road is not All Uphill"