There is one way to have a short but exciting conversation with me, and that is to move too slow. —General Jim Mattis
I’m just finishing a book my wife Charlotte got me for Christmas called No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy: The Life of General James Mattis by Jim Proser. It’s a biography of a man who, “in the hyper partisan political atmosphere of 2017, received nearly unanimous bipartisan support for his nomination of Secretary of Defense.”
What makes this leader different? How can he receive that kind of support across such a diverse base of people?
His story is not a terribly complicated one. There are elements common to many great leaders – adversity overcome, opportunities availed, hard work and determination rewarded. But what strikes me about General Mattis as I’ve read this book is that he pursued excellence consistently. No matter his rank, circumstance, or position, he pursued it relentlessly.
Personally, I believe excellence honors God and inspires people. I believe mediocrity does neither.
Excellence is often confused with perfection. If it’s not perfect, it’s not excellent. That’s just crazy.
Perfect is an unattainable goal this side of Heaven. Excellence is doing the best you can with what you have to work with – it’s not perfection. Excellence is not making excuses – it’s leveraging the resources, time, and gifts you have in the best way possible to accomplish the goal.
Whatever his rank, Mattis had a mission, and he pursued it with excellence. That was noticed! It led to increased opportunities, advancement, and responsibility.
I love the quote I began with above from General Mattis – “There is one way to have a short but exciting conversation with me, and that is to move too slow.” How many times have I seen or experienced that with great leaders I’ve served with! No matter their context, leaders want to move the ball up the field. They want to see progress. They want to see the mission advanced and the team or organization succeed.
Leadership is about movement.
Are you ready to move?
This month I’m opening a few opportunities for personal coaching, for leaders who are ready to move and grow. As a leadership coach, I provide personalized coaching, one on one, to help leaders intentionally grow and thrive. I want to help you achieve the goals you know are possible. I want to see you become the leader you can be.
Success begins with a choice, as any leader can attest.
If you’re interested, I have 4 openings right now. I’d love to talk with you and see if it’s a good fit for us to work together. Click the button below and we’ll start the conversation.