I am afraid of being mediocre. I abhor the idea. Working with or on mediocre projects drives me nuts, makes me angry. Why should anything just limp along merely getting in its adequacy? There's no reason. None.
From a personal view, mediocrity is unacceptable. Not that average is bad, it's just as good as it should or could be. That's probably why when I design a website it takes forever. If I'm building out someone else's design, I can do it in a few hours, but if I'm designing and wire-framing and compiling it, days? Weeks? In the case of my own sites it takes months at times. I can't settle. I have a very hard time settling for sub-par.
I get really upset when something has all kinds of potential ends up getting wasted. If you have the opportunity to create something really cool, life changing, and beneficial why wouldn't you put the resources in to make it amazing? Reach that potential! In my industry, so many times schools stick with what they've always done because budgets are preventative, or other faculty want their needs put above those of the institution, or another department won't self-assess.
Disgusting. Heart-wrenching at times. This is why schools have poor enrollment (one reason, anyway). This is why when students leave they say things like, "I made a lot of friends, but I don't think I learned anything to prepare me for the real world."
How can any organization do its job right when it doesn't focus on its constituents? As a Christian, I believe it is wrong and even sinful to not strive for excellence. And that's in everything. I don't get preachy a lot on this blog, but the reason Christians aren't taken seriously? Because we suck at doing things well. How sad is that? It's not that we can't do things. It's that we can't be bothered to be the best.