Excellence is contagious, but mediocrity is too…

Businesses that don’t recognize excellence as the key driver of performance aren’t likely to survive in an environment filled with rapid shifts in consumer habits, constant ambiguity, and uncertainty about the future.

A triad of tough challenges – lingering weakness in some segments of the economy, consumers reluctant to part with hard-earned cash, and savvy buyers armed with easily accessible information about products and services – means only those companies that understand how to build excellence into their cultures will emerge as market leaders.

Great coaches and band leaders know that recruiting a single world-class athlete or musician can inspire every member of the group to be better and elevate the performance of the entire team. The idea that excellence is contagious is widespread in the business world, too. However, building excellence into organizational culture is much more difficult than most senior managers realize. Just as CEOs preach innovation without creating the environment that breeds it, they also talk about excellence without understanding that it has to be embedded into the organizational DNA. Many also don’t seem to understand that mediocrity is every bit as contagious as excellence.

Every member of the E Street Band was a rock star in his own right. It’s what made them the most sought-after musicians in the industry and helped us get to know all of their names. What fan of rock music – and most other genres – doesn’t know the name Steven Van Zandt?

The days when businesses could hide mediocre performers within their ranks evaporated with the onset of the recession in 2007. Not only because operating leaner means you can no longer conceal dead weight, but because allowing sub-standard performance from one leader, sales person, or employee sends the unintended message that it’s tolerated.

Imagine that the success of your business depends on counter sales and one member of your team rarely makes the effort to solve problems for potential customers who call and never tries to get them into the store. Now imagine the message that sends to the entire sales team.

Such opportunities easily get lost among other calls and identifying second-rate performance can be difficult. Most companies know what they sell, because the cash register tells them. What they don’t know is what they’ve missed or turned away, often because of unexceptional performance by members of the sales team. The numbers can be huge.

We at Molloy Business Development are pioneering ways to uncover those numbers and help businesses understand what’s often not being said and how it undermines sales. Not knowing the opportunities you’ve missed is like playing baseball without batting averages.

We can help you that, and in the process identify pockets of excellence and mediocrity within your organization.

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