Tag Archives: excellence

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responsible work

Doing Responsible Work and Making a Difference

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Often the first step in the argument is the assignment of blame and the question of responsibility. Being a great employee, boss, or owner, often requires doing responsible work and serving as a role model for future efforts.

Are you a freedom seeker? A set your own schedule and do your own thing kind of person?

The Illusion of Freedom

Did you show up for work on time? Prepare for the meeting, arrive a little early, open your mind for the possibilities? Are you holding yourself accountable or expecting accountability only when someone asks?

People dream of being their own boss. They consider the idea that entrepreneurship or leading the team sets them free. Free to do as they please, when they want, and they’ll decide how fast it will happen.

Largely the work of this type of dreamer is an illusion. Often it is illustrated by get rich quick and get freedom now schemes on social media. Strategies that are more pyramid in nature or cloaked in the multilevel marketing philosophy. Buyer beware.

Responsible Work

The work of successful freedom seekers comes with a catch. The catch is that they are more responsible and accountable than ever.

An employee who sets their own schedule or who maps out their own job is not only responsible for the work, but they are on the hook for the outcomes too. Self-designed and self-managed means even greater proof of performance.

It is also true for the entrepreneur. Every customer has some demand, expectation, and specialized need. There is not one boss, but many.

Making a difference and doing responsible work go hand in hand.

The assumption that there is freedom from a strict schedule, the micromanaging supervisor, or forced overtime is often an illusion.

Success comes with a commitment to excellence. Success is an opportunity that you create.

That always means doing responsible work.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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excellence cost

What Does Excellence Cost?

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Many individuals and businesses strive for excellence. It is an admirable goal. Does excellence have a price? What does excellence cost?

It seems that there may be many potential ways to measure the cost of excellence. We can consider hours spent, hard costs such as tools or equipment, and perhaps the opportunity cost of trading one thing for another.

Popular Pursuits

Businesses may strive to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and have fewer than one defective part in every million produced. All good and meaningful goals.

What is the cost? Often argued is that costs are improved. Less waste, faster, and better-quality results in more profit. We can do the math on those costs to get to the end result. Are there other costs?

History Teaches

Perhaps post-industrial revolution we have some remnants of excellence. Things like John Deere tractors, Ford automobiles, and Harley Davidson motorcycles.

These are all companies that pushed hard for excellence. Perhaps long before manufacturing developed catchy terms and acronyms for process control. Even well before Toyota existed.

So, what about John Deere, Ford, and Harley Davidson? What price did they pay for excellence? Many have studied the Ford story, some have looked closer at John Deere and Harley Davidson. What are the lessons learned?

Are the lessons tighter controls, stricter specifications, and appropriate treatment of the human side of the business? Certainly, yes. Are there other lessons?

Excellence Cost

In your career or in your business have you thought about the costs of excellence? Not the tangible costs, but the intangibles?

Much of the best innovation, product development, and future growth doesn’t spring up from tight systems and restricted movement. It doesn’t happen when the mindset is to attain perfection and never change.

Preaching continuous improvement is a paradox when the real rules are no deviations.

Even the best sometimes struggle to get out of their own way.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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discovering customer service appreciative strategies

Discovering Customer Service More Than Once

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In a general sense, we are creatures of habit.  Discovery takes energy, lots of energy. Have you considered that discovering customer service must happen more than once?

Once you’ve read the book, watched the movie, or completed the academic class you are done, you may feel like you don’t need more right now.

Quitting Too Soon

Yesterday I watched a football player make an amazing play. After obtaining the football during a botched play by the opposite team, he ran for sixty or seventy yards, only to slow down in the final five yards before the touchdown. An opposing player caught him and the ball knocked out of his hands in the final five yards. How ironic.

Once we’ve read the book, watched the movie, or even obtained the degree, it often reduces our interest to work harder for more. After all, we’ve done it, mission accomplished.

Sometimes you think that you have everything completely under control because you can see the finish line, and so it may be OK to slow down now, but it isn’t.

Discovery is hard work, so is learning something new. People often believe that they’ve worked hard enough, and now they are ready for things to be easier. They’ve earned it, and they deserve it.

On the other hand, seeing the end can sometimes be motivating.  Only ten more pages to read, only twelve more college credits until I earn the degree, or I see the goal and I better speed up to ensure I get there. It may be inspiring to accelerate toward the finish.

Discovering Customer Service

Discovering customer service excellence never ends. The business or organization that always continues to work hard at discovering how to make it better isn’t cruising to the finish line. Their motivation is not for the pending relaxation, it is fueled by a constant desire to improve.

There really is no such thing as perfection because that may imply that you are finished. You can’t deliver just enough to complete a transaction, and you certainly can’t slow down when you see the finish line.

Discovering customer service repeatedly may require hard work, but the best are never finished. They are always continuing the effort to discover more. It isn’t a one and done.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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Create It

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What is passion to someone is completely unreasonable to someone else.


Do you believe in what you are doing? Do you believe in your people, the project, or the new marketing program? Do you believe in yourself?

Movers and shakers, fast trackers, and water walkers, they all believe. Their belief may be so deep and with so much conviction that they are labeled as cocky, arrogant, or narcissistic. If they stray from mainstream thinking or action they may face ridicule, mockery, and negative labels.

That isn’t what bothers them, it is what motivates them.

Walking a different path tells them they are on the right path, because the same path is the path of the average, the unwilling, and the status quo.

Don’t believe in average, believe in excellence.

Create it.


Photo Credit: John Morgan

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