Our Preeminent Journey began when one of our clients, Primrose Schools, set out to be the preeminent provider of early childhood education. They began looking at companies like Chick-fil-A, Ritz Carlton, Southwest, Zappos and others to see what principles and practices those companies stood upon and how Primrose could adopt them.
That made us start thinking about what preeminence would look like in the event production industry. I talked to other professionals that have been in the industry for much longer than me and it seemed that most of their thoughts revolved around concepts like “flawless execution”, “exceeding expectations” and “maximixing ROI, ROO, ROS, RO(put-your-favorite-letter-here)”.
However, the more we thought and discussed, the more these seemed like what should be expected as the “price of entrance” for anyone that has achieved any level of industry competence. Striving for these metrics seemed like going into a Chick-fil-A and expecting a tasty meal or going to a Ritz Carlton and expecting a clean room. Those are the very basic things that customers should expect.
So we turned to the dictionary and found that preeminence is defined as:
- High status or importance owed to marketed superiority
- The state or character of being preeminent.
We believe that these definitions provide a duality of the pursuit.
First, and most obviously, there is the external pursuit when a person or company looks to be considered markedly superior to their peers. To be honest, this was the definition that we leaned toward initially.
The second definition, although I don’t like to use a word to describe itself, helps us understand that preeminence is not something that you simply aspire for, not something that you just put on posters in the hallways of your company, not something you just print on the back of your business cards. It is something that is in the DNA of the individual or company. It is part of who you are and who you want to become.
It wasn’t until a conversation with an extremely insightful executive at Chick-fil-A, that I came to see the second definition as equally (if not more) important. He told me that while Chick-fil-A will look at other companies in their industry (and out) for ideas on how they can improve the product and service they offer, they don’t look to these companies to benchmark their perforce. They set their own “preeminent metrics” and manage to those.
QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION: If you feel drawn to take The Preeminent Journey, why?
NEXT WEEK: Why pursue preeminence?
SUGGESTED READING: Wealth is it Worth it? by S. Truett Cathy