The Language of Excellence – A guidebook for personal and business excellence.
This book is simple. It will help you start a conversation that can lead you and your team to greatness. It will give you the tools to empower others with the confidence to take the right action while they are on the front line—when they are confronted with a decision to make, a problem to solve, or an opportunity to pursue. You will be able to move the know-how for achieving excellence from the back of the brain to the front. You can make doing and saying the right things—making the right decisions and avoiding the wrong ones—a habit. It is the best gift one could give to a young professional. It can be invaluable to the entrepreneur starting a new business or seasoned executive frustrated by the difficulty of steering an unresponsive corporate ship
“This is my fifth full-length book and my first non-fiction. The Language of Excellence applies to life as well as business—I think it is the best gift one could give to a young professional. It can be invaluable to the entrepreneur starting a new business or seasoned executive frustrated by the difficulty of steering an unresponsive corporate ship.” - Tom Collins
"Tom Collins' The Language of Excellence just may be the only guide book to personal and business excellence you will ever need to read. Borrowing from a lifetime of achievement, Collins lays out clear guidelines that can help you find your own success while enabling you to offer others the same 'excellence' that has marked both his life and career. A must-read for achievers."—Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South and A Separate Country
“Not only is he (Collins) an accomplished businessman, but he is also a two-time stage IV cancer survivor who has clearly demonstrated great determination and the ability to overcome difficulties and carry on successfully. His book teaches you how to equip your team to deal with almost anything business or life will throw at them.” —Doug Ulman, President/CEO the LIVESTRONG Foundation
A Teaching Tool:
A Romanian accountant walks into the office and asks . . .
In the mid-1990s, I was faced with the question, how do you teach a Romanian financial employee about business management and strategy? In 1996, I was an expatriate finance professional working for Colgate-Palmolive and had taken on the management of the finance team for Colgate Romania. While I had traveled in Eastern Europe for several years, this was my first permanent assignment and I looked forward to teaching the young team about capitalism. Young Eastern European professionals simply did not have the benefit of context when it came to management concepts.
I thought about assigning them a diet of management books, but then remembered that my father had put together an “everyman’s” template of readily teachable material that at the time was known as the ABCs of Insearch. I still have one of the original copies he gave me more than thirty years ago. While I had referenced the material from time to time in the early stages of my career, for the first time I looked at the entire body of work and understood its purpose. Simply put, he had taken the most fundamental elements of management theory and practice from dozens of experts and distilled the content into simple and readily teachable images and phrases for the purpose of aligning an entire organization from top to bottom. It was genius.
I have carried this material around with me from Eastern Europe to the early days of the Internet boom when I joined a start-up in NYC named DoubleClick eventually serving as both Chief Financial Officer and Chief Technology Officer of that NASDAQ traded public company. I then joined my father at Juris taking over the lead of the organization as Dad battled cancer. As he recovered, I had the pleasure of working and learning from him for a few years until we sold the company to LexisNexis. More recently, I have been at another NASDAQ company, Bazaarvoice—initially serving as its Chief Financial Officer, and then as Chief Executive Officer of the Internet social commerce company. No matter where I have worked—I have worked in dozens of countries around the world—and no matter the business context, I continue to discover and marvel at the incredible utility of what is now titled Language of Excellence.
I owe an incredible debt of gratitude to my father for the gift of this content. It has guided me and will continue to guide me as I evolve as a business leader and entrepreneur. I have shared the material on many occasions and the concepts are embedded, perhaps unknowingly, into any number of companies spread through the people I have had the privilege to work with through my career. My father has had more influence than he even knows in this regard and it is truly wonderful to see him update the material and translate it to the age of the whiteboard.
After many years in business, I still find the Language of Excellence to be the most useful and powerful management-teaching tool I’ve come across. I hope you, the reader, will too.
Dad, thank you for this incredible legacy.
Stephen R. Collins