Defining Excellence

I’m in the office now. It’s past midnight here in Tokyo. The staff ( see pictures here ) have all long since gone home, and it’s affording me some peace and quiet so I figured I’d write a few blog posts.

For the record, I did miss posting on blogs, and forums, but I was just swamped with other stuff. I hope those of you who consider me a friend will forgive me absence from the blogosphere.

I want to write a bit about excellence.

In marketing, we use words and they often don’t mean a damn thing. The word excellence is a victim of this phenomenon. You can explain it until you’re blue in the face. You can quote dictionary definitions until you’re blue in the face. It still just sounds like marketing BS.

Up until now, when asked to define excellence I would say stuff like, “better than others”. Now I have a real good definition, in the form of an example of excellence. The example involves my father.

My FatherMy father is dying. He is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s. He was a great man in his day, for the record, and a great father. Due to the peculiarities of his disease, he needed to be placed in a home where he could receive 24 hour care. It’s stressful enough that he had to be placed in a home, but the homes that were available to a person with his condition were horrible, awful and dreadful. From the reports I received from my sister, most of the homes were obviously run by money grubbing entrepreneurs that would be better suited to running maximum security prisons.

Then, about a month ago, my sister called and reported that they had found a different kind of home. This home was fun. They visited the home, and the other patients, all of them with similar conditions to my father’s, actually enjoyed their days. There were games, activities and social events.

As I heard my sister describe the place, my heart was put at ease, and I knew my father was going to be okay. I also knew I found a new way to describe excellence.

Excellence is the kind of service that goes above and beyond, the best, and it makes the recipient feel sincere gratitude.

I am inspired by that nursing home. Think what a great place the Internet would be if every dot com owner shrived for the same level of excellence!

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