Engage Your Commitment to Excellence

Ink & paper Scrap on Kraft Paper – Words: Vince Lombardi

I find it ironic that this piece has the huge word QUALITY at the top. While I was working on it I spelled a word wrong, which is a big bummer. Either find a way to fix it or start over. I liked the way the word QUALITY turned out so I didn’t want to start over. When in doubt, and after I said a few choice words, I added the two circles of scrap paper and moved forward. The offending word is underneath the ‘direct proportion’ circle, never again to be seen by the human eye. A professional is not someone whose work is perfect, they simply know how to fix their mistakes.

I had a mentor share this quote with me very early in my career. It stuck with me. When I want to phone it in or give less than I know I can, I think about my commitment to excellence and do the work. Just do the work. Do it well, do it consistently, and do it with pride and self respect. When those elements are in place excellence will prevail.

I think that is why it bothers me so much when I make a mistake. I can do better, my skills are better than that. And yet I know everyone makes mistakes, it is what makes us human, keeps us learning, growing and humble. Most mistakes are not fatal. They hurt and are disappointing however we can recover with effort. We learn a great deal from our errors and they provide a way for us to remember that perfection is not reality.

As we celebrate Labor Day and have a long weekend, let us remember the commitment to excellence this country has practiced in the work place. Let us give thanks for the men and women who built a foundation upon which we stand each and every day. And let us be grateful for the lessons we have learned from our mistakes and the missed steps of others, for experience is the best teacher especially when it is someone else’s experience.

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