Strive for Excellence, Leave Mediocrity Behind.

Much is said about our need to strive for excellence and leave mediocrity behind. It was reinforced again at a leadership conference I attended a few weeks ago. The conference was the Roy J. Hall Leadership Conference.

I first heard Roy over the radio and knew I just had to meet him. He was a college athlete for The Ohio State University. He made it to the NFL and is now a motivational speaker encouraging others to strive for excellence.

Roy J. Hall Inspires Thousands.

I was organizing a conference for a client and hired Roy to be their keynote speaker. He did a superb job lighting up the room with his passion and energy. There was no way to listen to him and not leave looking for a way to banish any morsels of mediocrity from your life.

For the second year, Roy put on a Leadership Conference and that is the conference that inspired this post! Charles Buchanan was one of the speakers and he talked about the disease of mediocrity and the need to push for excellence. I sat there inspired as I listened to a man who served three tours in the Army (Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo) talk about how winning matters, both to win wars and to win in life.

Actions Attract Trust.

Roy often uses catchphrases to get his point across and one of those phrases is “Actions attract trust“. Take a moment and watch this quick video. This simple real-life story is such a great analogy for each of us as we look to up our game. So how does all of this apply to retail, which I love to talk about and write about? Do your actions attract trust? Do you deliver on what you said you would do?

Retail Excellence.

One trip to the mall and you can see endless examples of mediocrity but you can also see excellence, it is just often harder to find. I like to look for the latter and then highlight these stars. I played hooky from work the other day to spend the day shopping. Shopping is a source of inspiration for me.

I came across retail excellence while shopping at The Proper Garden in Delaware. It is a beautiful garden and home store that is locally owned. Several women who work there demonstrated heart in everything they were doing. They aren’t the owners, but they truly care about their customers. My sister and I made several purchases, ate at their cafe, and left. Once we got home, my sister realized she needed two of an item that she had only bought one of.

Going Above and Beyond.

She called the shop and was required to give a credit card number to purchase the item as they don’t offer holds. Candy shared her concern about her credit card number being written down. The associate explained that she had worked in luxury jewelry for 37 years and she knew how to handle the credit card number.

A few moments later, she received a call back from the associate letting her know she rang the item, where it would be located when she came to pick it up, that 2/3rds of the credit card number were in her bag and 1/3rd was in the trash so no one could locate it and use it. Very thorough, detailed, kind. To me, she was being the best she could be.

Being the Best.

This is a simple example of an hourly retail associate who cared enough about the customer to go above and beyond. That follow up call wasn’t required. But it went far in how we both think about The Proper Garden and it is driving loyalty back to the shop.

Do you work in retail? Do you lead a team of people who work in retail? Don’t allow the disease of mediocrity to take over. Encourage the team to find ways to show up in ways to delight customers. Then recognize them when they do it!

We are all inspired by stories of elite Navy Seals. We wonder where they get their inner strength. Take that inspiration and challenge your team or yourself to be elite and the best. As Charles Buchanan said, “We don’t go to war to participate. We don’t go to try hard. We go to win. Winning Matters.”

In Your Corner.

If you are in retail and looking for help in running great stores, reach out, I am listening.

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