Here at VOUS Church, we have a saying: Excellence is our spirit. Whatever we do, we do it with a spirit of excellence. It’s not so much about what we do, it’s about how we do it! We don’t just want to get things done, we want to get them done in the best way possible.

One way to maintain a spirit of excellence is to have a culture of improvement. If you’re not getting better, you’re probably getting worse! Here are five thoughts we can adopt to help us make sure we keep getting better.

1. You aren’t the best

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’re probably not the best. Somewhere, someone has been doing what you do longer and better than you. This is the first step toward improvement: knowing that you have room to get better. The only sure barrier to knowledge is thinking you already have it.

2. Don’t be defensive

If you’re going to keep getting better, you have to be open to correction. Defensive people put up walls. They feel the need to prove themselves. When it comes to learning, walls only keep information out. We’re not here to prove ourselves, we’re here to improve ourselves. Stay teachable and surround yourself with people who know and care enough to help you.

3. Commit to continual learning

Few things are as invigorating as learning. If you’re feeling stale, ask a question, read a blog post (you’re on the right track!), or watch a documentary. New information brings new ideas. When is the last time you learned something new? Learning doesn’t just happen, it’s something we have to stay committed to if we’re going to grow.

4. Love your team and your leaders

There’s much more to being a good leader than accomplishing tasks. Leadership is influence. Without other people, there is no leadership. If we’re going to lead well, we have to love the people we’re leading and love the people leading us. You can’t control how much they love you, you control how much you love them! Whether it’s the people you report to or the people reporting to you, learn to love them better.

5. Ask questions

Great leaders ask great questions. Every question is an admission of point one, we don’t know everything. There are people around us that have information we need, but so often we won’t get it until we ask for it! Questions reveal what we value. Be intentional about the questions you ask. Questions reinforce behavior. When we ask about something, we’re letting people know that it matters to us. As a leader, ask more questions than you give answers!

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