Excellence Is The Best Teacher

“Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity,” Bennis says. “The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary.” “Choose to be extraordinary!” — by Warren Bennis

More often than not the simple reason why many do not choose to travel a road of EXCELLENCE is because doing so requires additional effort whereas being mediocre does not. When one is mediocre they are not struggling to grow, study, or work extra hours as an opportunity to study and get better at their craft simply for the experience and their betterment. Those that are making the extra effort are those that are targeted and talked about. This is also difficult. The reason they are targeted or talked about is the mediocre doesn’t want to have to make these additional efforts and deal with the additional struggles. In an effort to stop what may show them up they do their best to “cut or speak about those they see above them, poorly” so they can bring them down to their level. Again they do this by talking bad about them and or making things up to make them look bad.

The mediocre person doesn’t want to have to deal with or accept change. The reason is because change is often painful and thus avoided by the mediocre. They don’t want to have to deal with “the extra difficulties.” The truth is, those extra difficulties are part of taking the road of the excellent and extraordinary.

There is a great writing that was printed as an advertisement in the Saturday Evening Post on January 2, 1915. The title is: The Penalty of Leadership. It was written about the best car at the time and why everyone was shooting at it and doing their best to cut them down. It was about excellence and being extraordinary. If you are seeking to be extraordinary, you can count on plenty of people doing their level best to cut you down to the level at which they believe themselves to be. I have a dear friend that owns a car restoration and modification company. In the thirty five years of having vintage cars resto-modded, I have had a half dozen car shops around the country take my older cars and modify them by bringing them up to todays standards. They take off the old drum brakes and replace them with disc brakes. They put in power steering, plush interiors, a better rolling chassis, and body modifications that make the car a one off build. After the first six shops, the seventh shop I found to be one, which I believe seeks excellence in all they do. Since I started using them to build my cars, I have not gone to another. There is no need.

Sadly, through the years, I have seen the cars this company builds, get snubbed by the critics in car show after car show. The cars they are building for clients are clearly superior to all of those being judged next to them, down to the smallest nut and bolt. Unfortunately, the judges choose for a build nowhere close to that which has been built by Kindig-It-Designs. To me, this is no different than the car manufacturers that chose to cut down Cadillac in 1915. Because Cadillac was the best car built, they were being trash talked and cut down in anyway possible in order to bring the Cadillac down to the level of their cars. They obviously saw Cadillac superior to their inferior cars. Cadillac simply moved on continuing to make great cars as does Kindig-It-Designs without being bogged down by the trash talk of the envious and jealous who see them as superior.

In an earlier time in my life when I was pastoring a church, I was counseling a very distraught young lady. When I asked her what was going on, she told me how she was deeply hurt and broken because her sister in law was always cutting her down. I told her that her sister in law viewed her to be superior to herself and the only way to level the difference she saw between them was to cut her down. She was using words to cut her down. If her sister in law was cutting her down then the sister in law obviously saw her to be above herself. Hence, she tried cutting her down with actions and words in order to place them both on the same level.

I told her to count it as a compliment and realize her sister was simply projecting what was in herself and to love her in spite of what was being said and eventually her sister in law would come around. She followed my advice and eventually her sister in law did come around with them becoming fast friends. However, regardless of whether those cutting you down ever come around to liking or accepting you, it is best to recognize what is going on, that people are simply trying to put you on their level. Stay focused on your goals and continue striving for excellence. This is what Cadillac did. This is what Kindig-It-Designs still does. They are typical of the Leaders talked about in the Penalty of Leadership.

So, when others are cutting you down, do not take it personally. They are simply projecting. That said, do not allow their negative idle talk to take root in your heart. Don’t get bitter. Don’t seek revenge. Simply recognize what is going on and move ahead. Remain focused on your objectives and goals. Continue to walk your path, not allowing the little fires being started by those jealous bystanders and their idle talk, to cause you to wander from or off your path. Stay positive. Stay consistent and move ahead into excellence. Recognize as a leader of excellence, you will be talked about and that is ok.

Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…


Rick Cox