"Whatever your station in life, whatever your calling, and whatever you do, make excellence your watchword, for in the execution of the seemingly trivial tasks and common rounds of our daily lives, we disclose our true character by which we will be judged."
- Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen
Perhaps like me, you've wondered what makes some people excel while others seem destined to struggle. If you're struggling to find a job or advance in your career, you undoubtedly know what I mean.
While attending the May 19 launch of the governor general's I Believe Initiative (IBI) at King's House, I thought again about excellence. And then something struck me.
It was that Sir Patrick was not only His Excellency by virtue of his official role. He also embodies the ideal of excellence as a person. As a member of the IBI's working committee for over a year, here's what I think: Our governor general can help us to solve the mystery of excellence.
Here are three keys to unleash your potential for career excellence, from His Excellency's words and work.
1. Commit to Excellence
The opening quote above, from Sir Patrick's inaugural address on February 26, 2009 is your first step to achieving career excellence. Your achievements are determined by the standards you set and hold yourself to. Can you imagine the quantum leap in your career, income and influence if you lived by Sir Patrick's mantra, 'Only the best is good enough'?
Well, here's what you can do to move from imagination to reality:
Never be on 'Jamaican time'; always be at least 10 minutes early;
Always do what you promise;
Review your résumé and cover letter at least five times to ensure it is totally error free;
Read one book per month related to your career and apply one specific idea per week from it to improve your work performance;
Practise small courtesies like 'please', 'thank you', and 'I'm sorry'.
2. Adopt the 'I Believe' credo
The 'I Believe' Initiative is centred on the second and most crucial factor in achieving career excellence, namely belief. It was His Excellency's belief that "There's nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica" that gave birth to the IBI.
Great salespeople have long attributed their excellence in selling to their belief in three things: themselves, their products and their customers. It's no different for you.
Choose to believe in your abilities, in your business or company and in the product or service you're involved with, and you'll unleash your power to excel.
3. Work hard to serve
"Jamaica now needs the service of all its citizens," Sir Patrick has said. If you work hard to serve other people and help them solve their problems, you'll achieve career excellence and personal happiness.
Need more money? Find or create new and better ways to help your company or business serve more people. Christ said it best: If you want to be the greatest, then be the greatest servant.
Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist.