It is about growth, expansion, discovery, and breaking out of the norm. To execute a means to rise above, no matter what the present standard is. It means determination, and imagination. It means a state of movement rather than a destination. Excellence does not look at what the competition is, but rises to an internally-envisioned standard. It sets its own par, and succeeds from it’s own previously set precedents. It is a self-sustaining flame. It is universally recognized. Everyone understands what greatness is. It is a prewritten algorithm woven into the fabric of every person. There is a select few through history who have heard sound of excellence and put it into action. Others have seen visions, and chiseled out a framework.
Intrinsically connected are innovation and excellence. Innovation looks at what is and see’s more. Innovators seek to rise above the surface of the status quo to create a unique tapestry from some presently existing elements, and others from sheer imagination. Excellence is seen when the vision of a visionary is brought into reality, and especially when met with great odds. Excellence here is the persistence in the midst of resistance and discouragement.
At the heart of excellence is one who has stepped out and held a vision of something that is not yet realized. An individual has embraced a vision that begins very hazy, very untamed, and will likely carry him into dangerous places. But in the midst of risk, and struggle, prestige arises. Support rallies around leaders, pioneers, and innovators that are willing to stand along in their conviction. A rigid confidence and faith in the vision or goal will itself be the sight of excellence in others.
The individual or team choosing to rise above the present standard will face the opposition if by nothing else then the unknown itself. Predictions can be made exhaustively, but until experience sheds light on the path ahead, there is a obstacle of fear in the unknown. The individual or team on the course will either ignore the pressure of fear, or embrace it with tears as they wade through it. They are birthing a new atmosphere, a new path to be traveled on. The faith in the end goal keeps the individual or team on track through the storm.
The image of excellence is really found in its persistence. As previously stated, excellence is a movement, rather then a destination, and so it will be seen in commitment long-term. Failure is not the mistakes or accidents that happen, but the choosing not to give up. The the stages that are reached are simply the landmarks that excellence is present, and their culmination identifies that the path of excellence is still excelling beyond previous precedents, and other competition.
I have witnessed several organizations in several different fields that have really inspired me. Walt Disney saw a vision for a wonderful world of discovery, but he actually died before he got to see the massive culmination of his vision realized practically. Steve Jobs pioneered Apple computers, and got to see much of it’s success in his life, but it is clear that he had tunnel vision for bringing new ideas to life. Mark Zuckerberg wanted to connect with people in his peer group in a new way while in college. His major in computer science at Harvard helped to fuel a greater vision to create Facebook. JP Morgan lived at the height of the industrial revolution, around the time electricity had been discovered, and could be implemented to a mass audience, a name so massive, he had created General Electric. Loren Cunningham, having grown up a pastors kid, had seen a vision of waves of young people washing onto the shores of every continent on Earth. He had initiated Youth With A Mission, and continues to inspire Christians, and non-Christians alike in seeing the world transformed by knowing God.