“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” - Colin Powell

Both Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn talk a lot about the concept of setting standards for yourself. We expect a standard level of quality from every product, service, and experience we buy, so the question then is - why wouldn’t you set a standard for your life? You are more valuable than anything you could buy. Your work is a direct representation of yourself, so if you are to commit to creating great work you need to set for yourself a standard of excellence to guide you through life.

Setting for yourself a standard of excellence means that people can expect great work from you – and if it isn’t great, you’re committed to improving where it matters

I think this is one of the keys to making big impacts in an organization, especially when you’re a newcomer. You start by learning the business or industry, figuring out how to do the job, but you don’t stop there. With a standard of excellence guiding you - the next step is to figure out how to get better. Observe the greats, observe people who seem like they know what they’re doing and whom do it well. Then- try to figure out how to do it better. That’s the differentiating factor between average employee and exceptional on your performance review.

When experienced business professionals or colleagues meet someone with this standard, it is recognized quickly

This I have no doubt about in my mind. People quickly recognize the guy who is willing to take on more work and does it more efficiently than anyone else. People realize when someone is capable of making decisions, good decisions, because they have a guidepost inside them that helps them choose the correct way. It may take some time for your standard to be recognized, but when it is- that is something that is not soon forgotten. Companies value and actively seek this type of individual. You will find them often in the rising ranks, leap-frogging other people. Take your time and do it right, but a standard of excellence is a competitive advantage you should strive to adopt for your future.

A standard of excellence is guidepost for when you’re not sure what decision to make. Is this action up to my excellent standard?

Having to make decisions is a required act once you start having a meaningful impact, and if you’re not there yet you will certainly need to be able to make decisions for where you’re going. Setting for yourself a standard of excellence allows you to have something to fall back on when you’re unsure of what to do next. You’re faced with a decision- the question you now need to ask is “If I want to live up to my standard of excellence, which is the best option?” From here - you choose that option. You now have something to push you in the right way- because you cannot let yourself fall below your standards.

Think of it as a certification- one that most people can’t earn without dedication. If you break it, you lose it. Then you have to earn it back.

Going along with the last paragraph, you can think of your standard of excellence as a secret certification that you’ve chosen to pursue. You can’t put it on your resume, but its effects will show through the experience that accumulates on your resume. Those with a standard of excellence are given opportunities way earlier than people that choose to coast through in the office. Learn from your decisions and the experience you gain following your standard of excellence. If you drop below your standard, you’ve missed an important test on the road for this certification. When you’ve thoroughly ingrained this philosophy in your mind, you will know it - and then you can consider yourself certified. Until then, keep working towards your goal and make sure you are learning throughout the process while achieving them.

Resources For Setting A Standard of Excellence:

[![Awaken The Giant WIthin](https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51lXzR%2BxTOL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671791540/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=rtbks-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0671791540&linkId=c98131b6fe05bcf74f6c9d7219f6b0f6)[![Awaken The Giant WIthin](https://www.authenticgrowth.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/buy-now-on-amazon.gif)](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671791540/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=rtbks-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0671791540&linkId=c98131b6fe05bcf74f6c9d7219f6b0f6) [![The 10X Rule](https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41AdzcAGBLL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470627603/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=rtbks-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0470627603&linkId=98106d1c11ad7a3b14f92cf9b05d2fdf)[![The 10X Rule](https://www.authenticgrowth.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/buy-now-on-amazon.gif)](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470627603/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=rtbks-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0470627603&linkId=98106d1c11ad7a3b14f92cf9b05d2fdf) [![A Guide To The Good Life](https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41oP29YgLtL._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195374614/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=rtbks-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0195374614&linkId=1dfc84a7fdae60ee7535639fa85cc012)[![A Guide To The Good Life](https://www.authenticgrowth.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/buy-now-on-amazon.gif)](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195374614/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=rtbks-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0195374614&linkId=1dfc84a7fdae60ee7535639fa85cc012)