Commit to Excellence is the core value we begin with at North Star Marketing. It is also where we always return to start again because our core values are not a disconnected list of abstractions we love. They are each a part of an ongoing process that informs every corner of our work. Our creative director, Rob McDorman, deeply understands this commitment and process, and we can’t think of a better, more humble spokesperson for our leading core value.
Think about shopping for a chair. At some point, we’ve all gone looking for just the right one, either for the office or some room in our house. You don’t buy the first one you see or sit in. You probably do not buy the twentieth one you try out. You probably need to sit in a lot of chairs before you find the one you want.
The winner usually brings together qualities like being well-made, comfortable, pleasing to look at, and in the price range you have in mind. All those things combine to make that one piece of furniture an excellent choice.
I have found that excellence can be a surprisingly complex thing to try and explain. Often, it is simply easier to recognize it when we find it. When you sit in the perfect chair, you just know. I am a creative director and designer, though, so I am always trying to understand how to engineer excellence. Part of what I have learned with our North Star Marketing team over the years is that committing to excellence is both a process and a product.
Excellence Is a Process Before It Is a Product
As a process, excellence starts with a high standard of expectation in the final product—we actively reject mediocrity or just doing “good enough.” Within the defined scope of a project, we will make the best thing possible. Every project has many facets, so we are counting on excellence from the whole team, from each department. If something does not work, we are constantly looking to improve our methods. Committing to excellence means a never-ending commitment to learning.
Being a perfectionist and chasing excellence are not the same thing. Not even close. The perfectionist is obsessed with, and often paralyzed by, the need to achieve the impossible. They are also persistently dogged by their sense of failure to achieve it.
The person or team committed to excellence refuses to do less than the best with all they have, right now. They know it will not be perfect, that there will always be more to learn, and more to improve upon. That love of learning, of exploring what might still be possible, even as you push the edge of your current capabilities—that is what a steadfast commitment to excellence looks like.
What about the product? My short answer is: if you really commit to the process of excellence, the product usually takes care of itself.
What a Commitment to Excellence Looks Like at North Star Marketing
The product of our commitment to excellence for our clients is effective, attractive marketing. We find the messages you need to help your company succeed and yield a high return on your investment. We develop websites, videos, print pieces, and other excellent vehicles for those key messages. We build strong, transparent, trustworthy client relationships. Maybe you have tried lots of versions of your company brand or messaging already.
“When you find your real story, and see it beautifully told, you just know it.”
When you give up perfectionism and adopt never-ending learning and improvement instead, it is very liberating, but it also gives you a glimpse at times of just how much there still is to learn!
Where do you think you might need to let go of perfectionism and embrace a life-long learning approach? What are some things that you’ve chosen to commit to excellence? What kind of results have you seen so far?