On my last night of a three week trip to China (work & fun), my wife and I had the opportunity to dine at the Spring Moon restaurant in the historic Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. It’s a wonderful venue with great food, but the Manager is what caught my attention.
Everything he did was done with zeal, care and attention to detail. He prepared our tea with style and reverence (the Chinese are very serious about their tea). I quickly realized we were in the presence of someone who has a passion for excellence.
I asked him how long he had worked there and he lit up. With great joy and pride he told me about his wonderful twenty-six career at the Peninsula, how he had filled a variety of roles, but his passion was providing exceptional dining experiences for guests. He told me how he much he loved his work and serving others. Wow. His name is Derack Ip and he was kind enough to let me take a photo with him.
In his book, Excellence, John Gardner suggests that:
“All excellence involves discipline and tenacity of purpose.”
“Excellence implies a striving for the highest standards in every phase of life.”
To leaders who would pursue excellence, Gardner advises:
“They must be quick to apprehend the kinds of effort and performance their society needs, and they must demand that kind of effort and performance of themselves and of their fellows. They must cherish what Whitehead called “the habitual vision of greatness.”
All of this makes me ask myself . . .
“How can I take my pursuit of excellence to the next level?”
“How can I add more discipline and tenacity to that pursuit?”
“Where do I need to demand higher levels of effort and performance from myself?”
“What visions of greatness do I want to pursue?”
How about you?
How and where can you pursue excellence with more passion and zeal?