One of my all-time favorite sayings is by my very dear friend and close colleague at Stanford, Professor Tina Seelig, ad I try to always keep it in mind: “Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous.” It applies not just to each of us as individuals but also to our companies and the work we do that represents our companies.
Tina first talked about this in her seminal Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture, “What I Wish I Knew When I Was Twenty,” which also became a best-selling book that I highly recommend to anyone of any age.
The idea is to always go far beyond striving for excellence and doing your best.
Knock their socks off.
Blow their minds.
Do the unexpected.
Dazzle them with a new, creative approach. Be completely fresh and different.
It’s shocking as to how rarely this shows up in the work place. It’s shocking as to how rarely this shows up in customer service. It’s shocking as to how rarely this shows up in work product, even by marketing people who are supposedly creative and out of the box. No, I see the same old Powerpoint slides in presentations. I see the same old tired language in collateral. I see the same “just trying to get it off my to do list” approach. We all fall into that trap, of course. I see it most at client companies where the people are beyond overloaded.
But try to make a conscious effort. Ask yourself, “What can I do with what I’m working on at this very moment to be completely and utterly fabulous? What can our company do right now to be absolutely fabulous?” And then go for it.