Core Value #4 – Uncompromising Commitment to Excellence

By Ryan Barton | September 16, 2013

This is the latest installment of our ongoing series on Mainstay’s core values, why we think they’re so important, and how they’re relevant to any organization.

At Mainstay, we are not very good at building houses. We have no clue how to manufacture car parts. We are all thumbs when it comes to federal grants. We have never run a city before.

What we are good at is providing technology foundation and leverage,so our clients can succeed at those things. We are good at understanding our clients’ businesses, designing technology solutions, implementing to best practices, and supporting with round-the-clock dedication and passion.

THAT we do with excellence.

And when we are asked to do something we know we’re only so-so at, we immediately raise our hand and take the short-term business hit,rather than trying to “sell” something we can’t do with extreme excellence.

We know we can’t be good at everything. And we don’t want to be just “good” at anything – we want excellence. We strive for it, we work for it, we are completely committed to it. So much so, that we use the word “uncompromising.”We refuse to be put in a situation where we cannot do what we do with excellence.

When I give tours of the Mainstay office (pictured at right),people are often surprised at how much thought and care has gone into making it a pleasing work environment. At how much we’ve invested in a great space for our team. But the fact is, we believe that excellence requires sacrifice, that the payoff is worth it, and that we can’t cut corners anywhere.  Every staff member, every process, every initiative, every office, every aspect of what we do has to be excellent.  It has to be quality. It has to be worth doing.

Part of it is a business move – we want clients to be extremely pleased with us. Not just willing to pay their bills, but loyal, excited fans of Mainstay. We want to provide so much value to our clients that they can’t help but see the impact to their organization.

But most of it? It’s just who we are. We believe if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. And that to protect excellence, we have to draw a clear line between what we do (and do with excellence) and what we won’t do.

The other day I had an IT Director from a large nonprofit call us and ask for engineering help for their infrastructure. It would have been a great project and a great chance to work with a leading nonprofit. However, I referred him to another IT services company, because the specific brand of switches was not one we had enough depth of experience for us to be able to execute the project with excellence.

The IT Director was surprised and grateful. Perhaps he will call us again in the future – perhaps not. But there is no matching the satisfaction that comes from a job truly well done. There is no better way to build a business than to look out for your clients’ best interest – even when it means sending work to a competitor. There is no way to build something solid, lasting, of true value, without holding, uncompromisingly, to excellence.

We will never achieve 100% excellence – no one ever does. But 5 years, 10 years, 20 years from now, you’ll still find the Mainstay team fully committed to its pursuit and unwavering in its commitment to shun the average and pursue the extraordinary.

It’s part of who we are – it’s a foundational, core value upon which everything else rests.