Let’s reminisce to your high school days. You had lots of friends and tried to spend most of your time hanging out with them. So of course you would rather do something fun after school rather than finish your math homework. However, you realize on your way to math class the next day that you didn’t finish the assignment. You quickly scribble some answers during the passing period. You don’t care if the answers are right. You just needed to finish it. After all, your teacher was just making sure you completed the assignment. They aren’t grading your answers. You could have written gibberish for all they know. Did teachers know they were beginning behaviors for mediocrity?
Fast-forward 5 years. You are now living on your own, perhaps in an apartment in your hometown. Just hours before you are supposed to celebrate a family member’s birthday, you are racing through the mall in search of a gift. You know what day their birthday is but somehow, every year you manage wait until the last minute to find something. As you are browsing through stores, you come up with all these wonderful and creative gift ideas but of course, there isn’t enough time now. So instead you settle for a mediocre gift. You grab something off the shelf that isn’t personal, nor are you even sure if they’ll like it. You know it’s not the gift you wanted to give but considering your limited time, you can’t show up empty handed on their birthday. Would you say that a mediocre gift is better than nothing? The truth is, no one wants a so-so gift. Your family member will probably return your gift or it will end up collecting dust in a closet. Or worse, it could end up in the trash.
Now imagine you are working in a large corporation. You play an important role on the sales team. But recently you just aren’t feeling that motivated. You just want to show up to get your hours and leave. What if you did treated your customers with mediocrity? How would they respond? The chances are slim that they would continue business with your company. If you can’t offer quality service, your customers will go elsewhere. It’s as simple as that.
Is Mediocrity an Epidemic?
When did problem of mediocrity begin? Was it your parents? Was it society? Who taught us that this type of behavior was tolerated or acceptable? What happened to striving for excellence? Now, I’m not saying everyone is like this but we have all had our moments that forced us to give less than our best. I just think it seems to be occurring more today. Why are we slacking so much? It could be that we don’t have as much motivation or discipline. Perhaps we have too many distractions. Whatever the reasons are, we have to stop doing it. We need to start focusing and make commitments.
We are all aware that time is valuable. Whether you are starting a new business or have an established company, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything you want accomplished. I don’t think people necessarily want to produce mediocre work to their customers or anyone else for that matter. I think what happens is they end up sacrificing something in order to gain something of higher precedence.
For example, you have to work on a presentation for a meeting in two hours that you barely have had time to work on. You also have a report that is due at the end of the day. The presentation takes priority and unfortunately, the report is done quickly just to get it completed. How can we complete tasks efficiently while still producing quality work?
One way is by delegating tasks to others. This can be difficult for some because you want to be control of your own project. However, if you know you can’t finish it, you need to let go and allow someone else to do it for you. Another way is by asking for help. Is there anyone that can help you on the project? If there isn’t anyone that can help you with your project, talk to a manager. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask others for help. It doesn’t mean you can’t do your job. It means you understand the value of the project and know you aren’t capable of producing the best. If you know you are busy with too many projects, perhaps you should learn to say no to new projects.
As far as content…
In today’s society, we can’t afford to offer anything that is mediocre, at least not if you want to be successful. The unfortunate thing is it seems more and more businesses are producing mediocre content these days. How do you stand out and captivate your audience? What message do you send? In order to do that, you must first think about what it is your customers truly need from you. What is it that you are offering as a solution to their problem? HOW can you help THEM? Why should they come to you instead of your competitors?
If you want more people to say yes to your service or product, you need to ONLY provide your potential customers with information that is relevant or interests them. Don’t look at what your competitors are doing. They don’t always know what is best. But most importantly, don’t produce mediocre content for your customers. They deserve better and you know that.