Raise the Standard, Raise the Bar

high jump standards labeled

One of my business partners and mentors was a high jumper in high school, and he was the one to remind me recently of the name of the brackets that hold the bar.

high jump standards labeled

They are called standards. So when the standards are raised, the bar automatically raises with them.

This was a huge aha for me. Unless the high jump competition is starting over, the standards are not lowered. They are only raised. Let’s translate this to life outside of track and field.

Here’s a dictionary definition of standard:

Standard Definition

So when your business or your organization or even you as a person have defined the standards, it’s something to strive for. It’s not something that is compromised. Once we’ve declared our standards, they are non-negotiable.

Sometimes it appears as though organizations either haven’t declared their standards, or they are pressured to lower them to attract a higher volume of customers or interest. Scarcity mentality would dictate that that’s the correct action to take.

Yet when you come from a place of contribution, curiosity, and abundance, there is no need to compromise your standards. You won’t appeal to everyone, and that’s the whole idea. When the standards are upheld, the bar stays high as well. And the people who understand that will be the people you want to do business with for the long run.

As soon as you declare your standards, there will be situations tugging at your heartstrings to make an exception. How badly do you want what you say you want? Since we don’t see things as they are but we see things as we are, if we don’t believe in our own standards, we will be more likely to compromise than if we were firm in our own resolve.

You will have all kinds of reasons why you could lower those standards. But you can have reasons or you can have new outcomes: you can’t have it both ways. It will be tough at first. Taking a stand is always tough because so few others out there appear to be doing it. You might have to go backwards to go forward. I promise you there are others out there waiting for you to take that stand, and you won’t see them until you’ve made that decision.

Stay the course. Hold firm to your standards. Don’t get stuck in the “yeah-but” cycle. It’s a dangerous downward spiral. If you notice yourself in that rut, ask yourself, “I know I can’t, but what if I could?”

The world needs your resolve toward your goals and dreams. We need your example. Since most people are waiting for someone else to do something so they know how to think and who to follow, it might as well be you.

What if you are the one you’ve been waiting for?

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