Don’t Settle for Mediocre

I pay attention to trends. When a word or idea pops up a couple of times, I take notice.

Our IT Pro in North Carolina, Kenny Reavis, sent me this quote:

“As a manager, you play a critical part in either perpetuating mediocrity or helping your team break free in pursuit of extraordinary.” – Art Petty, executive coach

Mediocrity is a dirty word. If you are in a mediocre state, the chances are great that you are sliding toward failure. Why do I say that?

Mediocre means to me that someone is settling. If you are able to describe a situation as mediocre, it means it has already been mediocre too long. It means that there is no current effort to change the momentum. Thus, without an effort to shift a bad situation to a better place, it’s going to get worse. It won’t stay put at mediocre.

Mediocre doesn’t inspire. Mediocre doesn’t motivate. Mediocre doesn’t cause extra effort.

Kenny didn’t know when he sent his quote on mediocrity that I had copied down a quote the night before from a friend of mine, Brett Trapp. He said this:

“To dominate your job, ask ‘What is mediocre here that everyone else is oblivious to and how can I work to fix it?’”

Attacking mediocrity is the essence of our efforts to become lean. As an organization, how well do we name the mediocre processes in which we are engaged? If the answer is “not often,” we are on our way to losing in the market.

Let’s don’t be resigned to being mediocre. Let’s name the mediocre. Let’s attack it and make it better. It will help us dominate our jobs and our competition.