Never Sit on a Mediocre Chair: Advice from a Marketing Firm with a Commitment to Excellence
Think of a chair. It may be a fairly beautiful chair; imagine its intricate carvings and a polish that reflects a flawless finish. But let’s face it… chairs are not for viewing; they’re for sitting.
At the crucial moment of trust, we place a significant measure of personal pleasure or pain, joy or embarrassment in the functionality of a chair. Unless, of course, you are the kind of impervious soul who enjoys ridicule, no one desires to come crashing to the floor due to a mediocre chair construction process.
No one strives for mediocrity.
We all know that mediocrity is the result (at best) of minimal effort. Striving is reserved for difficult things… valuable things. We see the value of chasing a dream or accomplishing a goal. Mediocrity simply accepts things as they are and does not push beyond normal desire to make anything better. Mediocrity, when accepted, is the acknowledgement that the goal isn’t truly worth pursuing and not valuable in the eyes of the pursuer.
Does anyone value mediocrity? Is there any honor or prestige that accompanies that level of effort? Should anyone feel natural pride or feelings of accomplishment from half effort? Quite honestly, one often feels a measure of shame in knowing that the effort could have been better and that it should have produced a more excellent result.
Commit to excellence instead.
In many ways, the concept of excellence is foundational to all other guiding values in life. We may desire knowledge, wealth, or accomplishment; however, without a standard of excellence by which to measure our effort, we may be left with an empty hand or a half-finished journey. We are left with very little satisfaction from what we desire. Excellence frames for us a standard by which we measure everything we do. By setting a high standard of excellence, we convey a desire to do everything in the best way possible.
Most people will respond well to excellence. They will value the product of an excellent process, and they will trust the builder of the product if they see a commitment to an excellent method.
Now think of the well-made chair.
Imagine a chair made by an excellent craftsman, with hands skilled in the art of weight distribution and fingers controlled my a mind that is driven by excellence. The mind that is ever growing, ever improving, and seeking a better, more efficient way to build a better chair. The chair benefits from this ever improving process, just as you would benefit from the excellence with which it was crafted.
Just like chairs, everything we build, or make, or do in this life should be done with a commitment to excellence. Our desire at North Star is to work for the glory of God, and let’s be honest — if what we do isn’t done with excellence, it isn’t God glorifying. If it isn’t excellent, it certainly won’t be useful or meaningful for our clients. The two go together like peas and carrots… like derrieres and chairs.
So, at North Star, we are committed to excellence — both in WHAT we do and HOW we do it.
We don’t build chairs, of course, but we do build other things. Our clients rely on us to craft meaningful, trustworthy, beautiful, and effective marketing. Our efforts will never be successful if we are only committed to a process that is mediocre. We must be committed to excellence.
How We Do It
It begins with our process. Excellence in process starts with a high standard of expectation in the final product. And since there are many facets to any project, we must, then, expect excellence from each department, our communication along the way, and measurable results as we progress. If something isn’t working, we are constantly looking to improve our methods. If efforts are successful, we look to improve them further still. We encourage our people to push for greater clarity, deeper thoughtfulness, and creativity with purpose. Excellence in process usually means excellence in product.
What We Do
The desired result is effective marketing. We want your company to succeed and your investment to yield a high return. We want your brand or website not only to be uniquely attractive, but also useful. An excellence-driven process gets us there, and a persistent commitment to excellence keeps us there.
Who doesn’t love a quote from Aristotle?
”Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
We look to build excellence into everything.
You’ll notice that true excellence often happens without client knowledge. Yet it is vital to be improving in every area possible, whether others see it or not.
A few practical areas where North Star applies our commitment to excellence include:
- The attitude with which we approach each day
- The effort we give our clients when they are not around
- The way we treat one another
- How we respond to criticism
- How we prioritize and organize our time
- What, how, and when we contribute to the team
- How we view problem solving
- How we measure the end result of our work
- Responding to client ideas and feedback
- Doing our work in a timely, conscientious manner
- Focusing on client needs and expectations
- Treating others the way they want to be treated
Anything worth having or doing requires a commitment.
Gaining excellence requires discipline, time, effort, and persistence to achieve. No one is always excellent in everything. A commitment conveys that “being excellent” is absolutely worth doing, no matter the cost, no matter the time, no matter the effort. We anticipate failure and setbacks, so our persistence pushes us to redouble our effort, learn from mistakes, and make a better effort.
We value our clients; we value our people; we value the work we do; and we value how our work is done. It’s important to us. It will always be important to us.
We think this commitment to excellence is appreciated by others as well… the same way everyone values a sturdy, reliable, and maybe even beautiful, chair.