February 22, 2012

Stop the mediocrity

I've said it here many times: Optimist Clubs help children reach their full potential. What I also hope that I have instilled is that Optimist Clubs help adults reach their full potential too. By offering opportunities to serve your community, learn and grow with your friends and colleagues, and take on leadership roles that enhance your budgeting and management skills, Optimist Clubs can help you build your confidence to get a promotion or the raise that you know you deserve.

Optimist International recognizes clubs and its presidents for doing things right by proclaiming it an Honor or Distinguished Club. That means during the administrative year, the club has experienced growth in membership, has conducted at least three service projects, paid their dues and that the president has represented the club as a member of the District Board of Directors. To be named Distinguished, the club
See awards and recognition for
Saint Alphonsus RMC
must have also sponsored a new Optimist Club.

Pretty simple requirements, don't you think?

So I always marvel when clubs that don't meet what is expected of them shrug it off by saying, "Well, we don't do it for awards anyway."

I doubt that is true. I highly suspect that clubs that say they don't do it for awards have gotten complacent, and maybe a tad lazy or so independent that they don't want to report to anyone else: but I'm here to tell you such mediocrity must stop.

I was visiting Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise today and I noticed that its awards were proudly displayed and prominently advertised. The award shown to the right is an example of a recent award from "HealthGrades," the nation's most trusted source of information about health care providers. This award says that St. Alphonsus is a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence for the second consecutive year.

What if St. Alphonsus employees and their supervisors woke up one day and decided that they didn't need any more awards?  Would customer service and patient care decline? Would patients suffer? Would staff who want to work somewhere that makes them proud leave?

I hope I never have to find out the answer to those questions. I appreciate that hospitals and companies and some individuals strive for excellence. We inherently know that sometimes we will come up short of our desired goal, but one has to try to succeed. To not try is giving up, a step towards the end.

Whether you represent a hospital, a service club, or just yourself every day, you must give life the attention it deserves. Always work only for the best and expect only the best. Believe that you can and you will achieve.

Optimist Club leaders, you must lose the crutch of apathy. The award may not mean that much to you, but what it stands for should. It shows that you care.
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