Step it up!

Step it up!

Intro by Skip Cohen

I found this post in Bev Walden’s archives and she’s so on point about the importance of all of us stepping up our game. In fact, it was purely coincidental, but I also led off with a quote from Michael Jordan on a post of my own last week on the same topic.

“I didn’t come here to be average.”

We’re at the end of the slow season in terms of sales and heading into the second biggest seasonality of the year with Easter, proms, Mother’s Day, graduation and Father’s day. That means so many of you are doing last minute fine-tuning on your promotional strategy for the new year. NOW is the time to reexamine every aspect of your business, your goals and your relationship building with clients.

Step up your game – set the bar high in your standards of working with clients and remember – your goal is to always exceed client expectations and make yourself habit-forming!

And one more quote to share…

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”
Roger Staubach


By Beverly Walden

“The average person puts only 25% of his energy and his ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50%-and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.”
Andrew Carnegie

Lately, there have been many programs on television about the Navy Seals training program. Hard, character building, physically draining, mentally challenging…yes, yes, yes and yes. Yet many aspire to become this elite fighting force and are willing to join the program. Less than half make it through the entire program, which is the goal as the ones who make it will be called upon to do missions that will test them above and beyond what we could even think of doing and many times, the impossible.

I remember when our daughters were going through nursing school that the first few weeks were very hard and many dropped out. In fact, we later learned that this was intentional as the college program they were in had a very high success rate and if anyone was enrolled that was not fully ready to commit to the program, it was better that they dropped out in the beginning.

In business, why should the bar of excellence be any lower than the Navy Seals or nursing school? In every business, the bar should be set high, not at minimal performance. As entrepreneurs, we always notice employees in any business we visit that go over the top waiting on us and we know they will go far as they push past the “standards” of performance in the business they work in. When you have a low performer amidst several high performers, it tends to drain the productivity and morale of the otherwise high-performance team.

In a church where we were members for over 15 years, we managed the television team. It was a great learning experience as we led a volunteer team and asked them to give much of their free time to the church…in other words, it was a big commitment. What we learned as we led this team was that the harder they were pushed and the more they were challenged, the happier they were. They realized that was part of an elite team, doing work that was so specialized that not very many could do it. They were proud of what they accomplished and we were too!

As business leaders, we must set the bar high in order to attract employees who have high standards. If this high bar is clearly communicated, those not willing to reach it will not apply, but those who relish the challenge will fill the gap. And as business owners, we must set the example of these high standards ourselves. Bend over backward? Yes! Do more than my job calls for to help the company? Yes!

Never do we tolerate the INMJ (It’s Not My Job) syndrome from any employee-in fact, when we meet, we stress that serving each other and the customer is everyone’s job!

Tom Landry, coach of the Dallas Cowboys, said his job as coach was to make men do what they don’t want to do in order to achieve what they’ve always wanted to achieve.

As business leaders, we must do the same. Step up to excellence and bring your team with you. It’s the only way to true success.

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This article was written by
Beverly Walden

Beverly, along with her husband, Tim, took over Walden’s Photography in 1980, taking the studio in an entirely different direction when they developed their trademark “Relationship” Black and White Fine Art Portraiture. Today, they run a high-end studio, providing beautifully crafted portraits with impeccable customer service, along with Walden Coaching (www.WaldenCoaching.com) helping photographers build a stronger brand and business.

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