Let's be politically incorrect for a moment: Giving awards for arrival, trophies for attendance and plaudits for participation can cheapen excellence. By making 'everyone a winner' we dissipate the highest levels of human achievement. A Nobel prize for 'Effort' is no Nobel prize at all.  

We're unlikely to change a politically correct world. And perhaps there's something nurturing about encouraging others. But as a subscriber to 'From Amateur to Expert - Becoming the Greatest in Your Game,' I'd like to urge you to demand more from yourself. 

What is the top-end award in your world? Not the 'also played' certificate, but the pinnacle of performance recognition, designed by the industry experts and refined over time? 

This award will contain the real criteria for excellence. Do you know yours? Most people, in most industries, have never bothered to find out what they might be. 

This week, make a point of finding out. The criteria are rarely a well-guarded secret. They want people to know. And how could you ever earn your Oscar, your Nobel Prize, your Pulitzer, your Grammy, or your Journalist of the Year award, unless you know what it takes? 

Begin your quest for excellence by defining it.