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We've just created a new discussion category called 'Peak Performance' and we're starting the conversation with a post about a commitment to excellence. Our industry tends to use buzz words and phrases that inspire and create passion in the minds of individuals, teams and organisations. In order for these terms to be effective, they need to be based on facts, science, actionable techniques, and most of all... character and integrity.
Psychologists now understand the difference between the personality ethic, and the character ethic...
Someone who stands in front of a mirror every day chanting 'I'm the best' 100 times might see some short-term motivational gains, but mind tricks tend to fade. Another person who spends the same time doing some compound muscle exercises such as push or pull ups might not see instant results, but will grow stronger and overtake the chanter. This is the difference between personality and character. A positive personality can be faked and is built on a weak foundation. Developing true character is hard work, but will soon overtake the short term boost of shallow tactics.
When we think about commitment to excellence, we imagine leaders, captains of industry that help to inspire others. The thing to remember is that the leader can't force or cajole staff to do better. A culture of excellence needs to be created within an organisation. The best way to achieve this is through servant leadership that is humble.
A servant leader is like a conductor of an orchestra...
The conductor won't be the best at any musical instrument, far from it. A conductor is is the best place to hear the harmonics, and to see the passion on the faces of each and every person in front. A conductor has the best view, vision and instinct for how the orchestra can perform better.
This is unlike the leaders of the industrial revolution who tended to take more of a slave master, or military leaders role. We now know that these tactics won't be tolerated by the best and brightest employees or contractors. There will be a brain drain as a competitor who knows how to harness peoples spirit, will gain market share.
Real commitment to excellence means instilling it into others...
Any individual person has the potential to be the best version of themselves. We all struggle with this in different ways... We all have our own weaknesses which can be physical, psychological, circumstantial or character based. There are certainly plenty of people who seem to have mastered themselves. We can think of athletes, corporate stars or other inspirational people that we meet from time to time.
In the oil and gas industry, we look at excellence and peak performance more in terms of teams and departments. After all, in dangerous and challenging situations the weakest links can threaten lives, and the viability of companies. This is why a commitment to excellence is so important in the oil and gas industry, there's no arena that works at higher stakes.
Over to you...
Hopefully you've enjoyed this preamble and have so inspiring stories to tell in the thread below. You might have some challenges within your job and would like to ask the NatResPro community for help. Don't hold back, we look forward to a spirited and constructive discussion.
Here are a few questions that you might like to answer:
1) What's the most important factor in achieving excellence? (eg time management, team building, high standards)
2) What common misconceptions are there in past views of effectiveness?
3) Can you give an example of a huge improvement in your organisation that started with mindset?