We’ve heard a number of inspiring stories and seen many examples of personal and team excellence during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.”
– Vince Lombardi

“At the winter (2002) Olympics the difference between gold medal and no medal was often less than 2%. Against truly global competition, a lot of stunningly good performers were just not good enough. In the men’s 10,000-meter speed skating, the difference between a gold medal and no medal was 1.9%. In the women’s giant slalom it was 1.1%; in the four-man bobsled, 0.2%.

A lot of managers claim their companies will ‘bring home the gold’ this year. Terrific, but remember that many excellent competitors went to Salt Lake City and were 98% or 99% as good as the best – and brought home nothing. By all means try to bring home the gold, but don’t delude yourself about how hard it is.”
– Geoffrey Colvin, “Think You Can Bobsled? Ha!” Fortune magazine

“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”
– John W Gardner, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson and author of books on improving leadership in American society

“National Quality Institute has tracked these award winners since 1990, and the results show that many Canada Awards for Excellence recipients have consistently out-performed the TSE, Dow Jones, and Standard & Poor’s indices by almost double. CAE recipients have reported results such as a 91% reduction in employee turnover, a 215% increase in cost savings, and an overall 90% increase in customer satisfaction. Companies in the manufacturing sector have also reported a welcome 57% decrease in workplace injuries.”
– National Quality Institute, Toronto, ON Canada

“Your preoccupation should be on doing what you do as well as you can. What your co-workers say about you, what your opponent is doing – that doesn’t matter.”
– Jay Leno, American comedian, (retired and then rehired) host of “The Tonight Show”

“I read a story that conveyed to me what (excellence) means. It is a story of the greatest sculptor of ancient Greece, Phidias. He was commissioned around 440 B.C. to make the statues that to this day stand on the roof of the Parthenon, in Athens. They are considered among the greatest sculptures of the Western tradition, but when Phidias submitted his bill, the city accountant of Athens refused to pay it. ‘These statues,’ the accountant said, ‘stand on the roof of the temple, and on the highest hill in Athens. Nobody can see anything but their fronts. Yet you have charged us for sculpting them in the round – that is, for doing their back sides, which nobody can see.’ ‘You are wrong,’ Phidias retorted. ‘The gods can see them.’
– Peter Drucker, “My Life as a Knowledge Worker”, Inc magazine

Practical Leadership Development for Peak Performance Archived Webcast and Slides Download Now Available

The webcast is my voice through an audio broadcast synchronized with my slides full of the usual animations and transitions I use when presenting in front of a group. We now have the broadcast available on our site for viewing as streaming audio and video on site  here. When you click on this link you’ll also see the agenda of what was covered in the webcast.

So you can catch the webcast on your own time, show it at your next team meeting, or bring people together for a shared learning experience and do the assessment/discussion exercises recommended in the presentation.