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Practical Advice: The Pursuit of Excellence

by Kraig Ware, VP of Operations, TYGES International

When you think of excellence in your business or industry, what comes to mind? I am not talking about a one hit wonder type of excellence; yet, the type of excellence that is achieved over a long period of time. In the golfing world, Tiger Woods would definitely come to mind. Currently, Tiger is #2 on the all time wins list and for the most Majors won. Tiger woods7He is just 3 wins shy of the all time wins list behind Sam Snead and just lacks 4 more Majors to be alongside Jack Nicklaus. That’s pretty good company. This is an incredible achievement, especially when you consider the time line, as Tiger is in his 18th year vs. Snead’s 30 and Nicklaus’ 25 year careers.

Let’s shift gears to you and your business. Like Tiger, I am sure that there are folks within your company with the talent, skillset, know-how, credentials, focus, and determination to be a top player. Perhaps you or someone you know may have already tasted greatness within your industry. It may have been a cutting edge product (the what), a new process/technology (the how), or you were just at the right place at the right time (the when). To be blunt, to achieve excellence over a long period of time and to become great, it has to be more than the what, the how, and the when. In time:

  • The What, or great products aren’t so great anymore (i.e. fax machine)
  • The How, how we do things will always get better (i.e. Blockbuster)
  • The When, times will always be changing (i.e. 80’s Big Hair)

At TYGES we have about 25 folks, all with the same whathow, and when. Every year we award their excellence through “The Pinnacle Club” or TPC. Achieving this level of excellence isn’t easy, as only 4 of our producers achieved TPC in 2014. I am sure that your company has something similar and you know what an honor it is to obtain such an award. What if you reached this level of performance twice, three times, four times, or five times? What about in consecutive years?

One of my colleagues, Steve Sanders, has done just that.

2014 marked Steve’s 5th consecutive year to be awarded TPC. Matter of fact, Steve started with TYGES in late 2003 and has achieved this level of performance in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Simply Amazing. So what has made the difference? He has had the same whathow, and when as everyone else. The difference is his WHY. He shared with me his WHY last year. Here are some of his words:

“I like to delight the client. I get a thrill when I can put the “slam dunk” individual in front of my client.” 

“I hate to lose, more than I love to win. I am motivated more by the fear of failing my client, than the allure of money.”

“The ‘hunt’ – I view this as a personal challenge. How do I find the absolute best of the best?”

“The ‘kill’ – Once I find the person, how do I get them to the finish line? What can I do for them, to ease their path?”

More important than the whatthe how, and the when, is the why. Your why is the passion that fuels you. I have had the privilege to work alongside many great individuals during my career within multiple industries. The what, how, and when were always different and they always will be. Yet, one thing is consistent through all great performers or leaders, and it is they always have a why that evolves around helping others.

At TYGES our mission is simple: We’re here to make good things happen to other people.

What a great example Steve and his team at TYGES have set, as they head for a six-peat.

If you are at the top and/or heading toward the top of your industry, surround yourself with these types of folks. They’ve been there, done that, and most importantly, they are still doing it! Regardless of your what, how, or when, focus on your why. There are no excuses.

I encourage your feedback and would like to connect with you on LinkedIn. You can also follow me at twitter @SKraigWare as I focus on striving for excellence within the business world and within our personal lives.  Learn more about TYGES at, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog at

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.


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