There are many ways to exchange goods and services. Currency is a system that represents value in a particular country. A barter system is a method of transaction in which products or services are exchanged without the use of money. Credit allows the buyer to procure something of value with the promise to repay at a later date.  Trading is when you sell your products or service in a market and consumers generally dictate the value.

In each of these scenarios, a common factor is the volatility of value. Currency rates fluctuate based on interest rates, political instability, credit, and a variety of other factors. Barter systems are driven by supply and demand, scarcity, weather, and many other things outside of our control. Credit is based on interest rates driven by the relative economic stability of the borrower, lender, and institution that is supplying the lender. And trade rates are impacted by nearly everything we just listed and more.

The point is that much of how we exchange goods and services with one another is outside of our control. But there is one form of currency that is entirely within our control, ultimately impacts the value of nearly everything, can be applied personally and professionally, and greatly impacts both the tangible and intangible value of things. Excellence.

In The BUILD Framework®, we focus on five critical components for achieving personal and professional success:

B – Build Relationships

U – Understand the Business

I – Implement Strategies

L – Lead and Inspire

D – Deliver Excellence

It is the delivering of excellence in every transaction that establishes true value. Whether you are exchanging a product or service on a professional level, or sharing trust or advice on a personal level, incorporating excellence into the equation adds a level of value that is virtually priceless.

So what is excellence? For starters, it is not perfection. It is the responsible and continuous effort to deliver dependability, trust, quality, consistency, and authenticity in everything you do. When excellence is added to the equation in any transaction or exchange, it changes the entire dynamic.

As a consumer, are you more or less likely to buy from someone with a great reputation? Well, that reputation comes, in large part, in the providers attention to delivering excellence. Likewise, is excellence or price more important to you when making a purchase? In other words, are you willing to pay more for dependability, consistency, and all of the other attributes that accompany excellence? Most people are.

From the perspective of a lender or creditor, much of the same is true. From a practical standpoint, working with borrowers that trade in excellence, are trustworthy and dependable, is a sound risk. It also reflects positively upon you when you choose to work with people and businesses in which delivering excellence is a core principle.

Similarly, think about personal relationships. Delivering excellence in a personal relationship is about how you choose to give of yourself to others. Are you dependable and trustworthy? Is your advice based on the best interests of the recipient? Are you genuine? Establishing and exuding these things will not only establish your reputation, but it will let others know what you expect of them and attract like-minded people.

So what are the basic steps to building your excellence currency?

  1. Establish and own your excellence principles.
  2. Live those excellence principles every day.
  3. Expect the same from those with whom you interact personally and professionally.
  4. Apply these principles in good times and bad.

Step 4 can often be the hardest. In economically lean times, it is easy to justify cutting corners to save costs. But the real cost of that is a depreciation of your reputation. And that is not something you can easily build back up. You must decide what is more important.

The same can be said when mistakes happen, as they always do. Again, excellence is not a matter of perfection. It is a mindset and protocol for addressing any situation. Think about your experiences with companies. When you reach out to a company who has made a mistake and they offer you a simple and effective solution, it makes you feel good and reinforces the faith and trust you have in that company. The inverse is true when a company does not take responsibility for their mistakes.

Certainly this is equally applicable to personal relationships. The pursuit of excellence in good times and bad provides the foundation for mutual trust, appreciation, and perseverance. Unfortunately, the absence of excellence can have an equally debilitating effect on relationships as well.

Unlike every other commodity, excellence is free. Excellence is inexhaustible. And excellence is something about which you have complete control.

For more on excellence and to learn about the other four pillars of The BUILD Framework®, get a free copy of my book at

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