By John Hope Bryant

Hello leaders.  This is a simple and practical summary of how I approach most everything and every decision in my life.  Hopefully it helps you too.

This little tool can also serve as a short and sweet rule for personal and organisational leadership.

Those who know me also know that I am pretty much excellence obsessed.

On an ever-increasing, expanding-radius basis, I try to live my life from 8 to 10. This started out focused on my professional and business life, but now, it’s increasingly about every aspect of my life.  My word for 2015, is even ‘to curate.’  Here’s the scale.


You don’t ever want this.

This is the very essence of settling that we recognize so well in our lives.  Try as best you can, to never settle.  Settling is a dream-killer for sure.

Settling and living a life of mediocrity are kisses-of-death for your personal passion. Doing this will rob you of the very essence of what makes you special and unique, and builds hope inside of yourself. Even the Bible speaks about mediocrity.

The Bible says, be hot or be cold, but if you are luck warm I will spat you out.

Translation: even God doesn’t like mediocracy.

My advise to you is this — don’t be mediocre about anything important to you. Increasingly, that you mean everything you do.


of only moderate quality; not very good.”a mediocre actor”
synonyms: ordinary, average, middling, middle-of-the-road,uninspired,undistinguished, indifferent, unexceptional, unexciting,unremarkable, run-of-the-mill, pedestrian, prosaic, lackluster,forgettable, amateur,amateurish;”


Ladies — this is the man that you date but you DON’T marry.

Men — the same applies to you.

This is the woman you date, but under NO circumstances do you marry them.

I understand that he or she may prove to be absolute loads of fun, and they even may be super attractive and super interesting on some level, but they probably have no life skills.

They may not have a job.

They probably cannot cook nor clean (this applies to women and men).

They are allergic to hard working, can’t care for the proper nurturing of children, and think that ‘a long time commitment’ is like a week.

Oh, and their credit is probably just horrible.  Which means that life with them will probably be horrible too.

So, have fun, but leave this person at the club where you found them.


Not black excellence. Not white excellence. Not Asian excellence. Not brown or tan excellence.

Not North American excellence, or Middle East or European, or Asian, Latin American or African excellence.

Just — excellence.

This means excellence in all things. In every aspect of your life.

This means living your life with a high degree of personal integrity, and similar high expectations for the work that you do.  Your contribution in this world I mean.

This counts as well for those around you.

This means understanding that only in the dictionary does the word success, come before the word work.  Because the dictionary is actually alphabetical.

This means understanding that real success takes enormous, often uneven effort.

This means accepting that “an entrepreneur works 18 hours a day to keep from getting a job.”

This means never giving up, giving in, or throwing your hands in the air — because life is tough.  So what. Keep it moving.

It means redefining success as going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

It means not running away from your problems, nor to them, but right through them.

Deal with your problems before your problems deal with you.

Because the reality is that you and I cannot grow without legitimate suffering.

Excellence in everything means understanding this wisdom; that rainbows only follow storms.  That you cannot even have a rainbow, without a storm first.

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,if you are going to be a trash collector, then be the best trash collector that the world has ever seen.”

Live your life from 8-10, and you will begin to witness a truly transformational change; including who you hang around, and who wants to hang around you.

You will begin to look at life, and yourself, differently.

You will begin to value yourself differently.  No  you will begin to truly value yourself.

Today, – learn to live your life from 8-10. Â But most of all, don’t settle.

You don’t want to become the person you never wanted to even hang around.

Okay, let’s go.
Source: LinkedIn