Is average acceptable? Best answer is “That depends.”
Name something that can be described as “average” that you look forward to—for example, finish the following sentence: I can’t wait until…
When I went to school, Cs were considered average. I am here to share with you that two Cs are better than Average. The two Cs are Clarity and Consistency.
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t imagine anything being truly anticipated that would also be considered average! Average is … middle of the road, which can also be described as mediocre. Do you live life with anticipation for average? Of course not. And if you are a leader, desire to improve your leadership, or aspire to leadership—average is not even in your vocabulary. And neither do we want it in the vocabulary of our team.
If we tolerate less than that which we desire, then we allow, and even accept, average.
There is a way out. There are very simple ways to turn the acceptable into more. First, get clear with expectations. Here are a couple of examples. I am currently working with a team that is willing to accept the opportunities as they come and is not interested in bringing clarity to the objectives. Many see the situation as limited and do not want to limit the options further. Another team has come to me because the members realize they are struggling, and they’re not sure how to broach the subject of team chemistry and support. We will be meeting soon to address the subject of clarity of expectations.
If clarity is lacking, then the bar (of expected outcome) is not actually set. We let emotions dictate the situation. If we see the situation as limited, we may get desperate with our options. Remember, the choices we make in the short term will affect us in the long term.
Can you see that if all parties clearly know what is expected, there will be a great foundation to success? Why does one group picture that and another not? The difference is a scarcity mindset. We don’t have time to get into that now, but I hope that it is simple to see that clarity of purpose, objectives, assignments, etc., is foundational to the path toward success.
In baseball, is it easier to hit a home run or a single? Is it the goal of most batters to get a home run or get on base? Is the winner of the game likely to be the one with the most home runs or the one that gets people on base with simple base hits?
In football, are most games won with a Hail Mary pass in the closing seconds of the game or by consistently getting first downs until they add up to touchdowns or field goals (i.e., points)?
In business, is it better or even easier to come up with the next innovation that will set the world on its edge or to consistently provide quality products, delivered on time?
I think the answer is obvious, albeit less than exciting, and yet entirely fulfilling. Consistency wins.
If you are preparing to do something for someone with whom you want to make a huge impression, are you looking for mediocre or rather “How do I stand out?” Exactly—nobody wins big by playing average. Consistent maybe, but consistency in a high-stakes competition already moves one out of the average category. And when your objectives are clear, you will stand out—guaranteed.
Two Cs Beat Average
The two Cs—Clarity and Consistency. Now go out and change the world—in simple, clear, consistent fashion!
Until next time, my friends!