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Great teams don’t allow sentiment to creep in when their vision is challenged by the current reality. They understand that there is always a reason to abandon the commitment to changing that reality. That’s why that reality currently exists. It’s not that no one had the idea to change the future. Those game-changing ideas are rarely original. What is original is the courage to do what it takes to stay committed in the face of mediocre options. It’s more likely that the current reality exists because no one had the guts to stick to the plan when things got hard. The right mindset isn’t concerned with being called too hardcore or legalistic. They are courageously unwavering in the face of mediocre temptations and only they know what it truly takes to accomplish what everyone else knows is right.
When teams set out to be excellent, they make statements that are intended to communicate a commitment to protecting a certain value or practice to make sure that value or practice is something the team not only aspires to but actually becomes. Unfortunately, when that commitment meets inconvenience, mediocre teams find reasons to de-commit to what they were so initially fired up about when their vision for their future went unchallenged by reality. This is where the mediocre mindset is revealed. Great teams are actually willing to suffer for their values and commitments. Mediocre teams value the reasonable excuse to abandon that which they initially held so dear.
Mediocrity is an interesting study. I think we can all agree that no one ever sets out to actually be mediocre. I think that even the average person would say that mediocrity is a bad state to be in. Yet I find so many people to be very quick to defend mediocre practices and attitudes. It’s as if mediocre is more socially acceptable these days than standing out for excellence. I suppose that it’s difficult to hide when you are actually “outSTANDING” and that may be the reason for the common defense of mediocrity. Excellence draws attention and therefore increases the possibility for criticism. Mediocrity provides shelter from the things our insecurities tell us to hide from and that is why we say one thing but so vociferously defend the other.