My business partner sent me the article, The Inside Story: 5 Secrets To Pixar’s Success—a brief and enlightening read.  Point number 5 is the one that really floored me, though:

Hire for Excellence. When Pixar is evaluating potential hires they look for three traits: humor, the ability to tell a story, and an example of excellence. These aren’t unique qualities to assess in applicants, but how excellence is defined is not that common. It doesn’t matter what you are excellent at, just that you have reached a level of excellence. It’s important that you know what excellence feels like and what it takes to achieve it. It could be gardening, jujitsu, or cooking. The main thing is you’ve had a taste of excellence and will know how to get there again.

The beauty of excellence isn’t confined by the boundaries of expertise—it flourishes in the boundless terrain of effort.

What matters is that you’ve tasted the sweet nectar of excellence, savored its intoxicating essence, and imbibed its invigorating spirit. It’s like reaching the summit of a towering mountain, after a grueling climb. The view from the top, the triumph over every crag and crevice—that’s excellence. It’s an experience that once known, is never forgotten.

It’s like tending a garden. You’re a nurturer, an architect of life. You know the elation of seeing a seed you planted, burst into full bloom. The days of patience, the hours of care, the moments of doubt—all dissolve in the face of blossoming excellence. It’s a feeling, an emotion, a sense of accomplishment.

It’s like perfecting the art of cooking. You’re a magician, a creator, a weaver of flavors. You understand the joy of presenting a dish that sends taste buds on a euphoric journey. The trials, the errors, the burnt fingers and bitter tastes—they’re ingredients in your recipe for excellence. It’s a journey, an exploration, a map you’ve charted.

Excellence doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s a confluence of passion, persistence, and prowess. It’s a monument you’ve built, brick by brick, day by day, moment by moment. Once you’ve sculpted it, once you’ve etched your name on its pinnacle, you’re the master of its blueprint. And therein lies the crux – you’ve tasted excellence, you’ve understood its recipe, you’ve mapped its path. You’ve learned how to navigate through its twists and turns, how to surmount its peaks and valleys. You’ve unlocked the ability to chase excellence, over and over again.

Regardless of the arena, regardless of the game, you hold the compass to your excellence.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand & Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.