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A Better than Good Cup of Joe

January 24, 2019

We measure excellence. That’s important. But sometimes we settle for items that are less than excellent in life. Take my morning coffee for example; it’s an important part of the day. Maybe I’m high maintenance, but I want it to be an excellent experience that starts my day off right. When I settle for mediocre coffee in any dimension, it’s just not the same. If my ‘cup of joe’ is at a mediocre temperature, it doesn’t warm me up the way that a steaming cup can jolt me into high gear. If my mix of hazelnut creamer and full teaspoon of real cane sugar are off from haphazardly eyeballing the mix in a rush, it doesn’t taste right. And if I get sidetracked by a panic filled co-worker first thing in the morning, that beautiful coffee sits on my desk, neglected.

When my morning starts off right, I sip an excellent cup of coffee slowly, resting it on the coaster that sits right next to a smiling picture of Zig Ziglar. Zig’s smile and a little caffeine wake me up as I am reminded to be “Better Than Good” from Zig’s tattered and worn book jacket that sits among my prized desktop inspirations. I think about my day and take another sip of that perfect mix of freshly brewed Columbian coffee and sweet hazelnut creamer. At this point, I think through the to-do list and realize that it really can be ‘better than good.’ Thanks, Zig. My day is off to a great start and I’m motivated to achieve excellence.

Isn’t it amazing how our day can be influenced positively by the littlest things? At PRC, we measure excellence and want our clients to create excellent experiences across their entire organization. These are the little moments and important experiences in healthcare, like helping the older gentleman with limited mobility mix his own cream and sugar because he is adamant that his coffee is prepared ‘juuust’ right. It’s spending the extra minutes at the teenage girl’s bedside going through chemo because you noticed a deep disappointing expression on her face as she paged through prom dresses on an iPad. She won’t be able to attend her prom this year. Taking the moment to sit at the bedside and connect on a personal level with a patient, to ask an open ended question – then listen, to help mix up some coffee and respond to a little request compassionately is what helps create an excellent experience.

As Zig watches me sip my coffee in the morning, he inspires me to engage in excellence, not to settle for the mediocre. In his book, good is average, good diffuses other developments, good is the killer of conversation. During my morning pleasantries with co-workers, I try to connect with them in a conversation that is focused on excellence. “How are you today?” Uh, oh. At this point, I’m hit with a choice. Good, Bad or Ugly are some normal responses but I’m clutching onto an excellent cup of coffee, so I am reminded to think differently.

“Can’t wait to attack these projects.” “Excellent, look at what we are developing.” “I feel blessed to be doing this work.” “Happy to be alive and kicking.” “Excited about the challenge of this demanding schedule.” “Ready to influence some lives today.” “Hoping this day is just as amazing as this steaming cup of coffee!”

Excellence is in the details. Excellence is in the overall experience. Excellence starts with an attitude. Wishing you an excellent day.

To learn more about PRC’s excellence philosophy, click here