Sunday, November 22, 2009

Curious about Standards: What Standards Have You Set for Yourself, Your Life, and Your Work?

Definition of Standard: That which is established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, extent, value, or quality. That which is established as a rule or model by authority, custom, or general consent; criterion; test. Having a recognized and permanent value.

You can become an even more excellent person by constantly setting higher and higher standards for yourself and then by doing everything possible to live up to those standards.” - Brian Tracy, American author

I just finished the audio recorded book,Think Like a Champion – An Informal Education in Business and Life” by Donald J. Trump with Meredith McIver. I have heard and read both complimentary and uncomplimentary statements about Trump, and will admit that I enjoyed and learned a great deal from his approach.

Throughout the book, Trump referred to his “Standard” and sticking to his “Standard.” After hearing his words, I started thinking about the standards that were stressed for me by my parents, teachers, and the environments in which I grew up and still live by.

I feel that we all set our own standards – hopefully high - and that it is not always a smooth life and road when we stick with them. However, when we are firm about them, we will find that our outcomes, relationships, and reputation will thrive. I know that after finishing the book, I do have a high opinion of Donald Trump and what he has accomplished.

I have a new daily journal now for recording goals, a list of what I am grateful for, and I am using it to also list my standards and the “higher and higher standards” that Brian Tracy is suggesting that we set for ourselves.

I also found some excellent quotations about standards, so let me share them with you:

  • The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” - Ray Kroc, American businessman

  • When you're around someone good, your own standards are raised.” - Ritchie Blackmore, English musician

  • Let us be about setting high standards for life, love, creativity, and wisdom. If our expectations in these areas are low, we are not likely to experience wellness. Setting high standards makes every day and every decade worth looking forward to.” - Greg Anderson, American athlete

  • What matters is that you are doing what you think is right based on the standards which you hold.” - Walter Annenberg, American businessman

  • We have to set our own agenda, we have to set our own standards, we have to be very strong about what we want, we have to be very strong about our passion and if it's not right for you, you shouldn't do it just because you're advised by so-called geniuses.” - Jackie DeShannon, American musician

  • If there are flaws they are in ourselves, and our task therefore must be one not of redesign but of renewal and reaffirmation, especially of the standards in which all of us believe.” - Elliot Richardson, American lawyer
And, a few more with a bit of a different approach:

  • People mistake their limitations for high standards.” - Jean Toomer, American author

  • Sam Walton was a master storyteller who used illustrative stories to reinforce his cultural standards.” - Michael Bergdahl, American author

  • Soldiers, when committed to a task, can't compromise. It's unrelenting devotion to the standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until it's been done.” - John Keegan, English historian

  • It's hard not to play golf that's up to Jack Nicklaus standards when you are Jack Nicklaus.” – Jack Nicklaus, American athlete

  • Standards of beauty are arbitrary. Body shame exists only to the extent that our physiques don't match our own beliefs about how we should look.” - Martha Beck, American author

  • The nicest thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.” – Ken Olsen, American businessman
What are your standards? They rank up there with values and principles. I know that some gurus call them “golden bricks.” Make your list – and add a couple of new ones that are higher than the others.