The mediocre and complacent justify their lack of effort and excellence by saying, “My work was good enough.” Well, good enough never is, as you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Second best can lead to second class and in the competitive global marketplace mediocrity leads to irrelevance and being relegated to the status of “also-ran.”
The debate then becomes, what is good enough? Here is an interesting look at things – If 99% was good enough the following would happen in the United States not to mention what would happen globally.
If 99% were good enough then:
12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.
114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes will be shipped each year.
18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled each hour.
2,000,000 documents will be lost by the IRS this year.
2.5 million books will be shipped with the wrong covers.
315 entries in Webster’s Dictionary will be misspelled.
20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions will be written this year.
880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect card holder information on their magnetic strips.
103,260 income tax returns will be processed incorrectly during the year.
5.5 million cases of soft drinks produced will be flat.
291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly.
In many things 100% perfection is required. In everything 110% effort and excellence is the order of the day. So whatever you do – do it with excellence, knowing that if you don’t – your competition will.
There are certain things in life and in business which require perfection. The rest must simply be done with excellence. A heart surgeon clearly has some things which require perfection. On the flip side, some activities are not worthy of perfection like getting through your email or reprinting your handouts for the meeting for the twentieth time because you want to try it in one more different font or color. (There is the perfection paralysis syndrome too, so there must be a balance.)
It is a good exercise to determine what things in your organization or in your individual life require perfection and what things require excellence.
The message is to live your life and run your business with a 110% commitment to excellence – because good enough never is.