Excellence and perfection are so relative terms that its very difficult to explain or describe your thoughts about them to a second person. Even if you try your best to explain, often you fail to produce the same spark that kindles in you.
The following short story was forwarded to me by my friend Ameet.
A man once visited a temple under construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol of God. Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby. Surprised, he asked the sculptor, “Do you need two statues of the same idol?” “No,” said the sculptor without looking up, “We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage.”
The gentleman examined the idol and found no apparent damage. “Where is the damage?” he asked. “There is a scratch on the nose of the idol.” said the sculptor, still busy with his work. “Where are you going to install the idol?” The sculptor replied that it would be installed on a pillar twenty feet high. “If the idol is that far, who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?” the gentleman asked.
The sculptor stopped his work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, “I will know it.”
The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not. “Excellence” is a drive from inside, not outside. Excel at a task today – not necessarily for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction and excellence.
Having said that, there are occasions (very frequent when you are in business, owning it or working for some one, either ways) when you have to let go of the excellence part. Reasons can be various.
- meeting a deadline
- to increase productivity (trade off with QoS)
- to be more efficient (in a diluted way, ofcourse)
- $$$ profits
The same person who strongly defends his principles, ideologies, thoughts while in college (where there are [relatively] less deadlines and lots of time), tries to reach a compromise as he grows professionally.
So while I don’t think excellence and business are complimentary stuff, I feel the missing link here is “patience“.