July 22, 2008

Pretty Good…But Can We Make It Better?

It’s been said that “good is the enemy of great.” It’s a common cliché that just challenges those among us who are satisfied with being “good” at something. Why not take things to that proverbial “next level” and strive to make things “great”? How much more effort, knowledge, skill, financial investment or luck would it take?

Remember the old television show from the 70’s called “The Six Million Dollar Man”? It starred Lee Majors as Steve Austin, the former astronaut that was outfitted with bionic legs, a bionic arm and a bionic eye after a near fatal crash. Major Austin was used as a crime-fighting opponent of evil. In the opening credits the narrator spoke the words that all of us who were raised in the 70’s will remember – “Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.”

Those words, uttered on over 100 episodes in the mid 70’s remind me a lot about this week’s Business Principle #8 which states:

We are committed to identifying inefficiencies and communicating concerns, thus enabling us to improve our performance and systems

Now that doesn’t mean we spend our waking hours looking to find fault with people or systems within our control. It also is important to realize that if we identify areas of concern that we are empowered to communicate those concerns to the appropriate people within our organization. (See Business Principle #7)

We are constantly striving to make things better. Former Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holtz said in his 1991 video If Enough People Care that “loyalty doesn’t mean just saying good things about your company.” We need to look at every aspect of our industry, company, office and individual business platforms to identify what is working and what isn’t. Much like the gentlemen at the Office of Scientific Investigation (OSI) felt with Steve Austin, we have the technology. We can make things better than before.

Technology is just one of what I call “The Five T’s of Coldwell Banker” that makes us great. The others are Tools, Training, Teamwork and Traditions. Let’s all remember this Business Principle as we are continuously observing and fine-tuning our services and skills to succeed.

I’ll end this post with one of my favorite quotes I have seen in recent years and it comes from one of our generation’s biggest successes – Tiger Woods.

“I do not seek perfection because it is unattainable. All I strive for is professional excellence.”

Watch the video clip below and you'll see a great example of Business Principle #8 in action. Tiger Woods - the world's #1 golfer - is always trying to "become better."

I challenge you to do the same by consistently living Business Principle #8 in your daily activities. What do you think? Can we “make things better than before”? Add your comments to the end of this post and share your thoughts on the topic.

Until my next post…Build Relationships…Solve Problems…Have Fun!