Monday, March 28, 2011

With Excellence

"Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully.  So Saul made him a commander in his army, an appointment that was applauded by the fighting men and officers alike" (1 Samuel 18:5).

I will never forget Jeff Rash.  He was my manager for the first job that I ever got at 16.  My job?  I bagged groceries.   "Paper or plastic" became the most popular phrase that came out of my mouth.  Jeff, however, convinced me that I was more than just a grocery bagger.  I was a "courtesy clerk."  My job was not groceries, but people. He would tell me that excellence had to define not only what I did, but who I was.  My uniform had to be excellent.  My attitude had to be excellent.  My work had to be excellent.  The companies motto was simple, "People first, and profits will follow."  It was all based on being excellent.  We were never to talk to one another at work.  All conversations and attentions had to be focused on the customer.  We talked about the weather, children, current events, whatever it took to make excellence the trademark of our customer service.    Excellence matters.

Whatever David was asked to do, he did so successfully, with great skill and understanding.  He didn't take advantage of his position.  He treated each task with respect and put his whole heart and soul into seeing it done with excellence.  David didn't disregard his tasks at hand.  He didn't squander them.  He didn't minimize them.  The product of his work reflected the excellence of his heart.

Is excellence the trademark of your life?  Perfectionism is a trap and not the same as excellence.  Excellence is knowing that you made the most of your time, put your best effort into it, didn't hold back.  It's equating the quality of your task with the quality of your reputation.  What would happen to the quality of our work if we did so with the realization that it reflected who we are?

Personally, this challenges me more than words can express.  I don't want my life to be defined by anything less than the very best that I have to offer.  Everything I do is to be done as unto the Lord.  So, whether it's time management, completing tasks in a timely fashion, returning phone calls and emails, or the level of our effort, our goal is to honor God in all that we do.  To do it with excellence.

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