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Why Choose Mediocrity?

by David Brock on February 2nd, 2015

The difference between mediocrity and greatness isn’t that much, but I’m constantly amazed by how many choose mediocrity.

Our companies spend millions in the best sales training and tools, but we don’t use them.

We know that we are supposed to be customer focused if we want to engage and connect with our customers, but we choose to focus on our products and ourselves.

We know we are supposed to create value in every exchange we have with the customer, but we don’t take the few minutes before the meeting to figure out the value we create.

We know we are more effective when we research and prepare, yet we choose to shoot from the lip.

We know we have a greater impact when we understand the customers’ businesses, markets, and competitors, but we don’t take the time to do so.

We know our sales process represents our best practice at maximizing our ability to win, compress our sales cycle, maximize deal value and margin, but we don’t use it.

We know we have to prospect to keep our pipeline’s healthy, but we don’t do it.

We know we are supposed to coach and develop our people, but we choose to sit behind our desks reading reports.

We know the right things to do, but we don’t do them.

Being mediocre is actually more difficult than being great.  When we do things the right way, we don’t have to do things over or recover from our missteps.  Being mediocre is hard work, we do the wrong things, we make mistakes, we aren’t effective in engaging customers.  So we have to re-do things, we have to figure out how to overcome the customer’s resistance.  We have to spend a lot of time experimenting and figuring out how we get customers to invest time with us.

Being mediocre takes much more time than being great.

We not what we should be doing, yet too often, we choose not to do it.

The difference between mediocrity and greatness is really about the choices we make–nothing else.

So why choose mediocrity?

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2 Comments
  1. Thank you for the useful reminder David. To expand on your thoughts… I think mediocrity happens naturally, one doesn’t need to exert any extra effort in completing a task. Whereas with greatness, a conscious decision needs to be taken every time, and that can only happen with a high degree of self awareness and courage.

    • Imran, you make a very interesting point. To me the key word is “consciousness.” I think mediocrity probably happens when we are unconscious, when we aren’t present and paying attention to what’s happening around us. The key thing, and I don’t know the answer, is how to we avoid being unconscious? It’s interesting to see all the discussion about mindfulness. I think that’s trying to attack the same issue.

      In any case, I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of your comment.

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