🎯 Excellence is a Lie 💁

You are a snob. And so am I! We are just snobs about different things.

I am a movie snob. 
(Empire Strikes Back was the best Star Wars movie, and if you don’t agree, you are both wrong and not a movie snob.😂)

You may be a coffee ☕️ snob.
(If you have ever ordered a ventí Creme Bruleé latte with non-fat milk you are totally a coffee snob.😂)

The problem with building a culture based on “excellence” is this:

My excellence might just be your average.

“Excellence” is relative, and it is based on the preference of a leader. Preference can build a niche, but it can also destroy a culture.

Excellence is Arrogance

The process of striving for “excellence” focuses on a destination. Once you believe you have attained it, you stop growing. You stop innovating.

Your greatest weaknesses are based upon your assumptions. Success can feed those false assumptions if you are not vigilant.

The companies and people we used as a model 15 years ago are no longer valid. They were surpassed by hungrier start-ups that challenged the assumptions.

Success is not linear. Every organization needs to be constantly adapting and growing. This is done by creating a culture of learning.

Celebrating Awful

In a culture of “excellence,” only the preferences of the leader are celebrated. This feeds ego and ego is the biggest enemy of growth and innovation. In a culture of “excellence,” nobody wants to take a risk because only the standard is celebrated. Nobody wants to “fail” — which is failure.

Change the word EXCELLENCE to IMPROVEMENT, and everything changes! You begin to celebrate differently.

When someone moves from horrible to 👉 just awful — that is improvement! One day they will move to 👉 just bad to 👉 just okay, and maybe even one day 👉 to great. 🙌

The reverse is also true. What if someone’s “excellence” could have been better? Your culture of “excellence” is limiting them.

Excellence Ignores the Intangibles

In a culture of “excellence,” the leader focuses on 3–5 “success drivers.” If you don’t work in one of those areas, you are pretty much screwed from ever getting authentic acknowledgement.

The fact is, every organization is an ecosystem and, not everything is so easily measured. When you focus on a culture of improvement, EVERY area of the organization improves, compliments and multiplies each-other.


✍️ Most organizations have trouble with transition because the culture is based upon the last leader’s preferences. Instead of a cult of leadership, build a culture of learning!

Excellence is a Lie. Improvement is Life.

John-Erik 🚀
12–04–16
Orlando