I have been thinking about the following excerpt ever since I read it. It has made a deep impression on me. For many, many years, I have had an individual desire to pursue excellence in all areas of my responsibilities, all the while keeping a sense of balance in my life.
Doing so requires a great deal of intentionality, effort, and humility. Why humility? Because I need to be honest with myself that I can always do better. Rather than beating myself up over mistakes I make, I need to pause and evaluate what happened, learn from it, and purpose and prepare to do better next time. I need the compelling vision of “excellence” in the forefront of my mind.
“I have always been fascinated by the high standards of performance Russell always set for himself. As a player, he used to keep a personal scorecard, and he’d grade his own performance after every game. His scoring system was based on a scale of one to a hundred, with a hundred being perfection. After the best game of Russell’s 1,128-game career, he gave himself a mere sixty-five on his personal scorecard. Sixty-five!
Why did Russell grade himself so harshly? He did so because his goal was not a “good enough” performance. His goal was not 99% . His goal was nothing less than perfection.
Though Russell never reached perfection, he did achieve something that few other people have ever known. He achieved greatness.”
So, let me ask you, what does your scorecard look like in the various areas of your responsibilities? Don’t settle for being good–pursue greatness.