Monday, June 5, 2023
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Uduak Ubak’s Blog: Excellence! What does it mean to you?

Musing about the word ” Excellence“, I had to look up the meaning and it says :

‘Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.’

What really does it mean to be outstanding? And in what way can we be outstanding?


Most times when we think of the word Excellence, we think about what we do, like our work, academics, parenting and the likes but what about having an excellent life style. For example, being a good citizen, not waiting until there is a law enforcement agent before we do the right thing.

Again, I was in a queue waiting to get some fuel. The fuel queue was progressing well, void of any disruption or quarrel, until a lady in a black Prado SUV decided to ‘jump the queue’ as we say it in Naija (i.e. Nigeria).

Because of the orderliness, she didn’t do it outrightly but sought the support of a policeman on duty whose job it was to maintain order. Not sure what she said to the man but it worked, as she was allowed to buy fuel before her turn. That was the end of the orderliness and the beginning of quarrels.


It was so annoying to see the man whose job it is to uphold the law, aiding another to break it. Of course he lost his respect in the eyes of the ‘ law-abiding citizens’ as they began to talk to him rudely.

I heard a talk on excellence and the man delivering the talk said

“if we lack value for life, we will struggle with excellence”.

He gave an example of the fact that if a transportation company valued the lives of the passengers, they’ll make sure their buses were in order.

It is so disheartening to see some of our transportation vehicles around. Some are so not worthy to be on the roads but somehow they still are.

Yes! Businesses is about the money but it should be more about the people we are serving. When we have people in mind, we push ourselves to deliver better/ excellent services.

Imagine a Nigeria where the soldiers fighting for our country are rewarded for their good service. Even if it’s the knowledge that their families will be well taken care of if they died in service, I’m sure a lot more people would be willing to serve their country in this capacity.


I can’t remember ever seeing the burial of a Nigerian soldier on National Television being celebrated for his good work and mourned for loosing him/ her, like it’s done in some other countries. They are just tagged soldiers with no names and probably given a mass burial.

What about stories of people in critical conditions getting to the hospital and not being attended to because they had no money to make a deposit to show they’ll be able to make full payments after the treatments. Whatever happened to saving the human life first? How many Nigerian lives have gone because of practices like this?

As I muse about excellence, I pray for the Chibok girls return, for a Nigeria where the leadership thinks about its people, where things work and a Nigeria where the people in turn think about their fellow citizens, where a Nigerian life is priceless.

It’s the Nigeria we are dreaming of. So let’s get out there and be “Excellent”!

p.s. Looking for a good book on Excellence? We have 3 recommendations below. To find out more about any of them, click on the image>>>

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