Culture of Excellence and Accountability: You Get What You Celebrate and Don’t Tolerate

We live in a world that is constantly evolving and moving at a rapid pace. In such a fast-paced and competitive environment, it is essential that we demand excellence and accountability from ourselves and those around us. This not only ensures that we consistently deliver our best work, but it also sets a high standard for everyone involved.

If you want to know what a culture of excellence looks like, look at what they celebrate and don’t tolerate. Simply put: in a culture of excellence and accountability, you get what you celebrate and don’t tolerate.

So, it’s important to celebrate both the basics and extraordinary effort.

Demanding Excellence and Accountability: Celebrating the Basics and Extraordinary Effort

Expecting the best from ourselves and those around us is crucial in both personal and professional settings. When we demand excellence and accountability, we set a precedent that no task is too small to be done well. This mindset can lead to a culture of high standards and a commitment to continuous improvement. To illustrate this point, let me share a personal anecdote.

5 years ago, I had an emotional recognition startup where attention to detail was highly valued. Even the most basic tasks, like writing a simple email or organizing files, required meticulousness and precision. Though it may have seemed excessive at first, this commitment to excellence in every task laid the foundation for my team’s success. We took pride in our work, and this collective mindset of demanding excellence from each other propelled us to create a great product.

Celebrate the Basics

While it is important to recognize and celebrate extraordinary efforts, we must also prioritize the celebration of the basics. Small tasks often make up the foundation upon which greater accomplishments are built. When we hold ourselves and others accountable for even the smallest details, we create a culture of thoroughness and reliability.

Imagine a scenario where a team is working on a project, and there are frequent delays because of overlooked or poorly executed basic tasks, such as thorough documentation or effective communication. By demanding excellence in these seemingly small areas, we can avoid unnecessary setbacks and achieve greater success. When these basics are celebrated, it reinforces the importance of attention to detail and sets a standard of quality for all aspects of the work.

For instance, at my previous workplace, we had a weekly meeting dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating those who consistently delivered on the basics. This provided an opportunity to acknowledge the foundational work that often goes unnoticed and motivated everyone to consistently strive for excellence, no matter the task at hand. This simple act of recognition created a culture where even the smallest tasks were respected and valued.

Celebrate Extraordinary Effort

While celebrating the basics is essential, it is equally important to recognize and celebrate those who go above and beyond. When individuals put in extraordinary effort, it demonstrates their dedication and commitment to delivering exceptional results. By acknowledging and celebrating these efforts, we not only reward exceptional performance but also inspire others to aim for greatness.

In my own career, I have witnessed the power of celebrating extraordinary effort. When my team was working on a challenging project with tight deadlines, there was one team member who consistently went above and beyond to deliver outstanding results. Their dedication and commitment inspired the rest of the team to push themselves further and surpass their own limitations. Recognizing and celebrating this extraordinary effort boosted morale, fostered a sense of camaraderie, and ultimately led us to achieve remarkable success.

Bottom line: If you want excellence, set the example, and celebrate the basics and extraordinary effort. Demand people’s best and hold them accountable for that. This is how you create a culture of high standards and continuous improvement.