You Don’t Have To Settle For Mediocre

We don’t like to think that we settle for mediocrity in our lives.  Mediocrity can manifest itself in the form of bad friendships, a job we hate and the way we handle the operation of our business.  We don’t have to settle for mediocrity yet oftentimes we do.

Mediocrity is sneaky. One day we are travelling to over-achieverville, the next thing we know, we have a bunch of crap show up in our business.  This crap can be attributed to a mediocre screening process for clients, breaking our own rules for hiring contractors and employees or just plain being sloppy.

Let me tell you why mediocrity is sneaky.

I have hired people in the past that started out great and were a real asset to our business.  They do a great job and everyone is holding hands around a campfire and suddenly I am a great acoustic guitar player, etc. etc.

Then something happens.

A project is late here.

Some mediocre work is happening over there.

You confront the individual on the work.

They have a great excuse.

You accept it.

There’s just one problem…nothing changes.

More work comes in late and the cherry on top is that the work is still mediocre.

Who takes the heat for that?  You do.

There is lesson that I learned in my years of poker playing that reminds me of this scenario.  It’s about knowing when to get rid of a bad hand.  You don’t throw good money after bad.  The same is true for employees and contractors.

We keep mediocre people around because going out and finding someone new is hard.  Your current individual may be mediocre but they are here and they can service the work that you have going now.  So you keep them around, they kill morale and, ultimately, your rep.

Mediocre isn’t easy although we tend to justify it.  I know I did this until it damaged my rep.  Now I see business owners do it every day.  Regardless of how much of a type-A, go-getter you are, it’s easy to let mediocrity creep into your business.  The important thing is to take quick action and don’t settle for it.

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3 Responses to “You Don’t Have To Settle For Mediocre”

  1. Azteca16 July 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    This is excellent!

  2. Andrea Reindl July 15, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    Ah so true! What’s your suggestion to keep mediocrity out of your business? And how many strikes do you give before it’s and out for someone?

  3. Brandon R Allen July 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Andrea-  I think the best answer to that question is to keep your finger on the pulse of what people are doing for you.  If they are employees, it means checking in and seeing how things are going from time to time and communicating with them.  For contractors, it depends on how long I have been working with them.  You can’t give people too much grace in these situations as you do so at the risk of your reputation. 

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