Excellence Starts at the Top

Have you ever wondered why some companies are exceptional and always on the top? Have you ever thought what makes Sony, Toyota, GE, and Nokia and many others world-class companies? Is it their machines, their systems, or their people? Or is there something else?

We all know that anyone, with the right amount of money, can buy the best machines, build high-tech facilities, and design most efficient processes and systems. But will that make an "excellent" company?

Can we buy class, integrity, perfection, and commitment to excellence?

If your people are unproductive, produce low quality services are products, or not committed, ask yourself: who hires them? who trains them? who motivates them? who decides what are acceptable behaviors and what are not? who puts in place the processes and systems they work within? Who provided the tools and machines they work with?

The answer is clear. It’s YOU! So don’t blame them for your failures. Take a look at your standards, your ethics, your mission in life, and the culture you created in your company. Your company is a reflection of YOU. It is a mirror that does not lie!

If your company is world class excellent company, then congratulations. You are a world-class and excellent leader. But, if your company is lacking in one area or another, then look inside you, and start working on yourself. When you become excellent, your people, processes, and products will become excellent. Always remember: excellence starts at the top.


Fahmi Abdein

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  • Fahmi Abdein

    Thank you Mr. Borrero. I agree with you 100%.

    One of the best books about this subject is:
    "In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies" by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman
    It's a bit old, but a great reading.


  • Fahmi Abdein

    Thank you for your comment Mr. Birk.

    Working on ones self is a "continuous improvement" process which is Essential to personal and organizational success. Successful people "work" on their weaknesses. That what's meant by "working on ones self".

    Excellence does not mean “perfection”! Non of us is perfect; perfection is an attribute of Allah (i.e. God). If we believe we are perfect then there is no need for improvements!

    Excellence is doing our absolute best in everything we do. Every time, all the time.

    Excellence is an endless quest; it is a journey with no destination.


  • Felipe Borrero

    An excellent person is the one that can balance all aspects of his life. Seeing excellence only from an economic or working perspective is incomplete

    Great article. It made me think about myself and my company.

    Thanks a lot Fahmi

  • Manjit Syven Birk

    I would never "work on myself", I look to processes that work on iterative improvement but I also separate becoming a person from having a processed existence. Excellence for the sake of excellence alone can lead us into becoming the unwitting victims of our own expectations or at least put us on a one-way ride into the abyss of perfectionism. Trial and error can lead to reduction of imperfection but if I accept the idiom "to err is human, to forgive is divine", then excellence becomes the product of a balanced life process rather than a tool for manic achievement of results......M.