Many organizations and companies claim to be “committed to excellence.” This is a great concept, but unless there is evidence to back up the claim, it is nothing more than words. Furthermore, numbers and statistics can always be (and frequently are) skewed by organizations to tell the story their customers want to hear. So the “evidence” reported by the organization about their stated commitment to excellence is not necessarily trustworthy.
Thus, excellence can only be attributed by others.
Companies constantly tell us about their commitment to excellence, implying that this means they will make only top-shelf products. Words like quality and excellence are misapplied so relentlessly that they border on meaningless. Managers scour books and magazines looking for greater understanding but settle instead for adopting a new terminology, thinking that using fresh words will bring them closer to their goals.
To ensure quality, then, excellence must be an earned word, attributed by others to us, not proclaimed by us about ourselves. It is the responsibility of good leaders to make sure that words remain attached to the meanings and ideals they represent. (missing reference)