For some fun and purpose, have a watch and listen to this tune by Kim Mitchell. I have always loved this song for its joyfulness and truthfulness. It is campy, catchy and connects on a message.
“I know there’s a lot of feathers but not much chicken.”
As we finish up some thoughts on excellence, I am purposefully diverted to the virtue of humility as well. Consider both by pondering the Virtues Reflection Cards from The Virtues Project™.
Lifelong learner… strive for mastery… work in progress… resilient, not perfect. Personally, I contend that perfect as a noun is a myth, but as a verb… it is humble and excellent, and real.
I think that humility and excellence ultimately walk hand in hand. Excellence, true excellence, demands understanding that we are a “work in progress”. It demands that we understand that our quest for excellence requires us getting that we are not there yet. Humility is not about beating ourselves up. It is about understanding that we both matter and have work to do. We are enough, for now… but there is a journey. Great champions, beyond their bravado in the game, know this. You cannot take things for granted and you cannot assume that you have “the answer”. To master anything, you are always the student.
Why do I say this? Well, for 30 years I have been in the leadership training and development field. I have learned from a wide range of incredibly gifted and humble people who understood that they were students at best. I have been blessed to know them and learn from them… and I pray that I will continue to be so blessed with those who have been in my life, are in my life and who will come into my life. I intend to learn for a lifetime. The words of Desiderata speak to me on this…
It speaks to me of humility and excellence, walking hand in hand. Champions who have stood the test of time; they get this. You are not “the answer”. As soon as you think yourself it; the master, the guru… you are not. What we all are, if we but realize it, is a part of the process of our respective crafts. You might advance your craft. You might even set records… but others will come to break them. You honor the craft, on the field, at work or in life. Substance comes from humility and the desire for excellence. It is the meat of true and enduring and legitimate service and success alike.
I have long said that the world needs no more gurus or speakers. It needs and cries out for humble and learning servant leadership, willing to hear and develop and, by example, lead. We need no more messianic messages. The answers we seek to the needs of the world require our humble search for excellence in our chosen crafts. Tonight, on Facebook, I wrote…
Find your niche of service… what you do best and for whom you do it. None of us are “the answer”. Each of us have “an answer” to a particular need. Find that need, serve it and the world is a better place.
Then, I saw this video by Tim McGraw.
And then, this pic….
They are all speaking to me, this night. Yoda never sought out and preached. He shared his wisdom and demanded excellence, but he sought not to preach, but to teach.
Here is the way I see it. The greatest teachers are the life long students. The eminent masters are the humble wayfarers. They see themselves not as “the answer” and run from titles like guru. There are many in this world who are working and earning the right to offer their own piece of wisdom… and together we each, if we do our humble homework, bring our piece of the answer to the table. We find our niche… how and who we best serve; and we approach it with humility and excellence… knowing we are not THE GAME. We just get to play our part in it.
So, to walk with excellence, I suggest that we walk with humility. Mastery will take care of itself when we do. Then, we go beyond the feathers and get to the chicken. Then, we truly serve. Walk and work with humble excellence.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™