Why Do We Accept Results [From Ourselves] That Are “Okay” Instead Of Great?

Why Do We Accept Results [From Ourselves] That Are “Okay” Instead Of Great?

Today’s world is moving at a pace that is sometimes challenging to keep up with. At work and at home, everything has to be done yesterday and in response we rush to produce reactionary work that results in output that is mediocre but, possibly, passable. The idea is that we don’t have the time, or more correctly, make the time, to stop and plan a little or even just think things through before jumping into a reactive response. This is an on-going challenge in the retail industry.

The results is that we grow accustomed to accept that something is just or almost good enough – for now – and convince ourselves, our colleagues and, sometime, our customer that we’ll fix things and bring the quality up to the necessary level later, when we have the time. But that never happens because everyone has accepted that the solution was good enough or we’re busy reacting to our next problem.

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Mediocrity Is The Enemy Of Greatness

The definition of mediocre is – –

  1. : of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance :

Synonyms of ‘mediocre’ are – dull, inferior, second rate, undistinguished – who would choose those adjectives for themselves in lieu of exceptional, successful, amazing or great? I imagine that most people would not accept those descriptors of themselves.  But yet – through their own performance, many people deliver uninspired results, frequently.  Is it really that much more effort to do something great as opposed to simply passable?

Mediocrity is often revealed in minimal efforts combined with a plethora of excuses and assigned blame for why you could not achieve excellence. It’s possessing a “whatever” mentality, and it is this ‘good enough’ attitude that is content with less-than-excellent work. When you deliver results or a customer experience below standard or brand expectations, if you don’t pay attention to details, or concern yourself with inspiring and motivating your team – if just being “good enough’ is your bar and the highest point you can possibly attain. If you are destined to build your reputation around mediocrity and “meh” results. The inability to seek personal satisfaction through your work results, being the type of leader who simply puts a band-aid on issues, manages solely for compliance – being merely average has been absorbed into your professional value systems and has replaced the desire for distinction, innovation, and excellence you have, likely, lost credibility and you are possibly suffering from a debilitating obstacle in your professional life.

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Great retail leaders ruthlessly reject and counter mediocrity through striving for greatness. When you are deliberately choosing ‘good enough’ over excellence and will be going through the motions of a day that is littered with challenges, issues, problems, and failed expectations – that are all self-inflicted.

  • Excellence allows for no excuses; mediocrity assigns blame.
  • Excellence is accomplishment; mediocrity is a cop-out.
  • Excellence is distinction; mediocrity is extinction. 
  • Excellence embraces and inspires change/innovations; mediocrity fights it tooth and nail.
  • Excellence is committed and driven; mediocrity is simply a warm body.
  • Excellence is an adventure; mediocrity is a chosen destination.
  • Excellence overcomes failure; mediocrity is impeded by obstacles.

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At work, as well as in life, we will generally attract what we are – you want great? You have to be great! Choosing excellence over mediocrity with each task, job, objective, interaction, results will help to develop high-leverage habits that will ultimately help you consistently produce great results. The following are some qualities of great leaders:

  • Passionate
  • Optimistic
  • Dedicated
  • Efficient
  • Resilient
  • Prepared
  • Unflappable
  • Inspiring/Motivating

On the journey from “good enough” to excellent, you will find a sense of professional accomplishment when you get to a level of “good” but don’t get cozy there.  Don’t let good get in the way of your GREAT!


Founder and Editor in Chief of Excellence In Retail and 18 year retailer. I am a passionate and creative leader and coach committed to inspiring thought, action, truth-telling, solution-seeking, and dialog about how to maximize talent through identifying and creating a process around critical success factors, workplace culture, signature leadership practices, productivity, profitability, alignment of employees and company vision & values, and workplace happiness inside all retail organizations. I help create healthy, vibrant, high-performing, and highly-productive organizations that are talent magnets and focused on delivering the highest level of customer experience that will differentiate them from competition and result in long-term growth and sustainability.

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