OPINION

Unveiling the Spirit of Excellence

It is one of the qualities that African leaders must embrace to be effective

In Summary
  • Proactively learning and applying new knowledge are practical steps towards excellence
  • Anyone who has embraced excellence is always searching to find and apply new knowledge

I am convinced that excellence is one of the qualities that many African leaders must embrace to be effective. Across Africa, many people are suffering because they lack basic needs, endure poor infrastructure, live without good healthcare, and deal with poor governance and leadership because excellence is not a priority of their leaders. Now, it is common to find leaders who don’t care about their nation’s state of affairs and have let mediocrity run amok.

The spirit of excellence is not an abstract, unattainable concept. It is doable and easy to identify. We all know excellence when we see it. But for those who still wonder what it looks like, let me paint a clear picture by explaining three principles of excellence.

Excellence is Addicted to the Next Level: Have you ever met someone who is never satisfied with mediocre work and always striving to make their work better? This is the spirit of excellence at play. It is an inward intoxicating drive to make your next work better than your last. You are grateful for your current level, but you crave the next level. When you are driven by excellence, you’re constantly thinking of how to improve your work; you are constantly pushing to be the best.

Excellence is Continuously Growing: One easy way to know a person is committed to excellence is this – they are obsessed with growth. To be the best at their craft, they understand that they cannot stop growing; there are no days off. Hence, they consciously invest in their growth. When one level of growth is attained, they start pushing for the next. They know that the moment that they stop growing, they would trigger their decline.

How do they engage growth? Constant learning. The spirit of excellence is always exploring. Anyone who has embraced excellence is always searching to find and apply new knowledge. They keep learning to sharpen their skills and improve their approach. Proactively learning and applying new knowledge are practical steps towards excellence.

Excellence Goes the Extra Mile: In business, the expression “going above and beyond” is now cliché, but it describes the spirit of excellence. Anyone who is committed to excellence would always do more than is required. They are not in it for the money or fame; their work is art, and they want to make the best art. The attitude of excellence unlocks creativity, and it drives excellent people to want to do more – and it’s no wonder that they excel.