We’ve all heard of the fifteen-minutes of fame or the one-hit wonder. Being on top for a moment is not Living Excellence. Living Excellence takes commitment both in preparation and in preservation. It takes commitment both to be excellent and to remain excellent. Committing to be excellent is certainly hard work but not as hard as settling for the good. Living Excellence takes commitment to a larger vision, to a plan, and to the execution of that plan.
The most talented executives and teams can be the most at risk to be anxious about their performance which in turn may compromise their progress and productivity. This is the result of trying to attain excellence instead of Living Excellence. In order to prevent this burnout, organizations need to create a vision larger than the sum of the organization’s parts. A vision for excellence creates cultures of excellence.
The lone wolf is the starving wolf. Organizational health depends on the development and sustaining of dynamic teams. As a T.E.A.M., Together Everyone Accomplishes More. Dynamic teams foster and create cultures of excellence within the workplace, which infuses organizations with more sustainable performance. Teamwork capitalizes on everyone’s strengths while mitigating weaknesses. In order for teamwork to thrive, however, it takes buy-in to the vision, and commitment both to the tactical and strategic aspects of the game plan.
Reaching excellence begins with Living Excellence. But in order to be excellent, organizations and individuals must have a clear sense of the meaning and definition of excellence, and then a clear plan and strategy in order to execute a plan of living excellence. Creating organizational excellence takes clear vision, strategic planning, and execution.
Three-time Super Bowl champion and Air Force veteran Chad Hennings’ successes began long before his professional football career. An accomplished lineman in high school, Hennings was offered full scholarships from universities across the nation. Instead, he chose to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he racked up numerous honors academically and on the gridiron.
Hennings’ exemplary achievements put him at the top of many draft lists and earned him a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster, but Hennings postponed his entry into the National Football League to fulfill his commitment to the U.S. Air Force. He entered the Euro-NATO program, a training program for top pilots, and soon found himself at the controls of the A-10 Thunderbolt.
During his four-year stint with the Air Force, Hennings flew 45 missions in support of Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, an effort that helped provide relief and humanitarian aid to Kurdish refugees. He received two aerial achievement medals, a humanitarian award and an outstanding unit award for his actions in the service.
After his discharge, Hennings joined the Dallas Cowboys, quickly earning a starting position as a defensive lineman. He spent his entire 9-year professional football career with the Cowboys, retiring in 2001 with three Super Bowl rings.
Since his retirement from the NFL, Hennings has found success as a commercial real estate professional, management consultant and motivational speaker. He established Wingmen Ministries, a Christian men’s group, in Dallas-Fort Worth and is active in community affairs, including work with veterans organizations, at risk kids, and families who are struggling to make ends meet.
Hennings is President of Hennings Management. He is the author of three books, It Takes Commitment, Rules of Engagement: Finding Faith and Purpose in a Disconnected World, and Forces of Character.
He lives in Texas with his wife Tammy and their two children, Chase and Brenna.