Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Standard of Excellence - "Its a Good Thing"

Having worked 22 years for a successful, corporate manufacturing company, I know a little bit about standards. There are two things you can do with a set of standards; put them in a binder and stick them on a shelf OR live them.

The fact that I am standing in front of door at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia isn't extraordinary. I mean it's pretty cool, but honestly hundreds upon thousands of people have passed this door, right? Its just a door with a logo or...... maybe not.

Here's a very short story on how I came upon this door with a "logo". There once was a woman who had a list. She checked everything off the list. She was rendered exhausted and unfulfilled. She went to the doctor. The doctor said she needed to lose the baby apartment. Surgery led to an off ramp from the "American" dream. The busy mom, wife, career woman thought she would start her own business. She worked her ass off and learned a whole bunch of new stuff. She was meeting new people. She stopped doing the business to start writing a blog. A stranger left a comment on her blog. This woman connected with that stranger and started volunteering her time to her nonprofit. The founder of the nonprofit won Martha Stewart's Dreamers into Doers people choice award. Some members of the Dreamers into Doers community suggested meeting in NYC. The founder of the nonprofit suggested that if we were going to be in NYC, we should make a difference for women living in a domestic abuse shelter. The Dreamers into Doers community rallied together to gather donations of beautiful things for the women of Safe Horizons. Dreamers into Doers gather with the women living at the shelter and share lunch, stories and their hearts. A cooking demonstration preceded the luncheon. A live taping of the Martha Stewart Show and tour of her media company proceeded the luncheon.

The door. The logo. Martha Stewart is a woman, a brand, but more importantly Martha Stewart stands for excellence. Excellence doesn't happen by accident. My Martha Stewart experience reminds me about the difference between putting standards into a binder and living it. Every person we interacted with at Martha Stewart Living OmniMedia knew their mission and the standard. They did their jobs well and with conviction.

Martha Stewart is Martha Stewart. She is a woman with standards. If you want to work for Martha Stewart Living OmniMedia, I suspect you go into the job knowing the the objectives and expectations. Take them or leave them. When you expect the best and get the best.

Listen very carefully. Do what you love. Do it very well. Make your expectations and standards of excellence known. If you are so inclined expand your passion requiring you to hire the best, who are passionate about what they do and have them do it with you. Quality first. Quantity second. You don't have to build an empire. Just start by filling in these blanks. I will make the very best _____. I will be the very best _____.
Learn more about how I came to be at Martha Stewart Living OmniMedia by watching the video of my speech I gave during the luncheon. Learn more about the Dreamers into Doers Community facilitated by MSLO. Meet all the Dreams into Doers who attended the two day event.
A standard of excellence. It's a good thing.

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