Excellence as an Art

Leaders and organizations are rightfully focused on excellence, although there are levels of excellent that range on a spectrum from “exceeded expectations” to “exceptional” and beyond.  We’ve learned our whole lives to try harder, work harder, put forth 110% effort (or more), so it is no wonder that we often find ourselves struggling, uncomfortable, or even in downright pain!  Forget “no pain-no gain” — true excellence at its most profound expression is an art form, balancing commitment, dedication, drive, practice, relentless pursuit of perfection while disengaging from any attachment to an outcome of perfection, and a certain amount of letting go.  It’s the letting go part that most of our executive clients have trouble with.  Why do we believe we must be steeped in discomfort or pain in order to win or succeed? Is there not a way to achieve mastery such that we can lean on others for support or choose a less difficult path to success? Leaders often believe that to relax into the work, to let go of the rigor of over-efforting (i.e., struggle), or to otherwise flow with the energy of whatever they are working on is akin to giving up or resting on one’s laurels or just plain being lazy.  We equate DOING with SUCCEEDING.  Well, you’ve seen examples, perhaps in your own life, where ACTIVITY does not equate to PROGRESS.  The true focus of leadership, at the levels of excellence as an art, is awareness…or BEING.  Watch this video of Swan Lake as you’ve never seen it before and you’ll see what I mean by the flow of the Art of Exceptional….

Leave a comment