Tag: Excellence (home)

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

permalink source: Aristotle
tags: Excellence, Habit

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.

permalink source: Francis Bacon
tags: Excellence, Originality, Beauty

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.

permalink source: Niels Bohr. Danish physicist
tags: Excellence, Mistake

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

permalink source: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
tags: Commitment, Destiny, Discipline, Excellence, Persistence, Time Management

The wind and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.

permalink source: Edward Gibbon
tags: Excellence, Wisdom, Excuses

Some people are born mediocre, some people achieve mediocrity, and some people have mediocrity thrust upon them.

permalink source: Joseph Heller, "Catch-22"
tags: Excellence

Every calling is great when greatly pursued.

permalink source: Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
tags: Excellence

To escape criticism -- do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

permalink source: Elbert Hubbard
tags: Excellence

If you want a thing well done, do it yourself.

permalink source: Charles Haddon Spurgeon
tags: Excellence, Delegation

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exaulted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy ... neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Consequences

Every time you're not out there practicing, somebody else is, and when you meet him, he'll beat you.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Persistence

Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Success

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Humor, Wisdom

Practice makes permanent.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Mistake, Persistence, Practice

This speaks a lot about the quality of Japanese products and their quality standards. They're still laughing about this at IBM. Apparently the computer giant decided to have some parts manufactured in Japan as a trial project. In the specifications, they set out that they will accept three defective parts per 10,000. When the delivery came in there was an accompanying letter. "We, Japanese people, had a hard time understanding North American business practices. But the three defective parts per 10,000 have been separately manufactured and have been included in the consignment. Hope this pleases you."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence

There is a difference between being called and being driven

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Destiny, Excellence, Perfectionism, Ministry

When he was in his mid-eighties, the great cellist Pablo Casals kept practicing his instrument for four or five hours each day. Someone once asked him why, at his age, he still worked so hard. "Because," he said, "I have a notion that I am making some progress."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Discipline, Excellence, Practice

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, March 4, 2001: Retaining Key Staff: What High-Tech Employees Say versus What They Do Summary: Never listen to what people say in response to a survey: asking high-tech employees what will keep them in their jobs provides very different answers than the factors that actually drive retention. Getting and keeping good people is one of the greatest problems facing Internet companies. Even with the latest slump in the industry, we still face negative unemployment among people who understand the Internet. We have all seen the clueless ads looking for Java programmers with ten years' experience. Indeed, those ads started appearing back when not even James Gosling would have qualified. The real issue is not so much number of years as it is amount of insight and skills which translate into real experience. In the human interface field experience is largely driven by the number and diversity of user tests somebody has observed. Some usability professionals run a test per week; others may only get exposure to real people a few times per year. Assume that you have succeeded in hiring an excellent staff. How to keep it? At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2001, Dr. David Finegold from the University of Southern California presented an interesting study of employee retention in high-tech companies. The most important finding in the study was that what employees say will keep them in the company is quite different from those factors that actually determine whether they quit. We have seen similar findings in many other studies of very different issues, which is why I always caution against believing what people say in response to a survey. Never listen to what people say. Instead look at what they do. What employees say is important for making them stay at their current company: Work/life balance Job security Financial rewards Professional career satisfaction Degree of influence over own work These all sound very important, right? Well, that's not what makes highly valued employees stay in the high-tech companies in the study. After running a multiple regression analysis, Dr. Finegold found that there was no positive effect of work/life balance on the retention of staff. People may say that they like to spend time with their family, but giving them such time doesn't make them stay with the company. Self-reported surveys are always a weak source of data, but people's responses are particularly unreliable when it comes to sensitive issues or questions where certain answers are deemed more socially acceptable than others. Pay for individual performance (typically salary and bonuses) did not score highly as a way of keeping employees, except for men under 30. The only type of financial rewards that increased retention for any other group was rewards based on over-all company performance (typically stock options). Interestingly, having a viable and well-communicated strategy for success was important for making employees identify with the company but did not make them stay with the company. The top three factors in retaining staff were: career advancement financial rewards based on company performance innovation and risk The high score for innovation and risk may be a peculiarity of high-tech professionals, but if those are the types of people you want to keep, you have to give them bleeding-edge assignments.

permalink source: Jakob Nielson
tags: Excellence, Motivation, Teams

"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word: excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it."

permalink source: Pearl Buck, author
tags: Excellence, Happiness, Work, Pleasure

"In order to excel, you must be completely dedicated to your chosen sport. You must also be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept destructive criticism. Without 100 percent dedication, you won't be able to do this."

permalink source: Willie Mays, baseball player
tags: Discipline, Excellence, Criticism

"If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work."

permalink source: Thomas J. Watson, Sr. (1874 - 1956), business executive
tags: Excellence

I thought Tiger Woods was crazy. What in the world did he have in his mind anyway? Here is the man who dominated the pro-golf world, who had won the prestigious Masters, who was blasting 300 yard drives, hitting crisp iron shots at the pins, like shooting darts, and draining putts from every spot on the green. Here is the man who had already won several million dollars in prize money, who had gained over sixty million bucks from endorsements, and was being hailed as the next Jack Nicklaus. Now...this man...on top of the golf world...takes time out to...change the way he swung the golf club! Was he out of his mind? When asked, Wood replied, "I wasn't in the greatest of positions on my swing. Because my timing was great, I got away with it. But I wondered how I could contend in tournaments where my timing was off. The answer was 'no.' I wanted to change that." He phoned his old coach, Butch Harmon, and said he wanted to rebuild his swing. The two of them went to work, pounding a zillion golf balls on the practice range, reviewing tapes of Woods' swing, and, slowly but surely, reforming the way this brilliant golfer manipulated the club. So? So this year of 2000, Woods simply won 3 of the 4 majors. And more money than he can ever spend. The best wanted to get better! That, to me, is the legacy of Tiger Woods.

permalink source: Dan Betzer
tags: Excellence, Practice, Golf

Only mediocre people are always at their best. …. Bill Russell, the legendary center for the Boston Celtics basketball team, used to keep his own personal scorecard. He graded himself after every game on a scale from one to one hundred. In his career he never achieved more than sixty-five. Now, given the way most of us are taught to think about goals, we would regard Russell as an abject failure. The poor soul played in over twelve hundred basketball games and never achieved his standard! Yet it was the striving for his standard that made him arguably the best basketball player ever.

permalink source: somerset Maugham quoted in Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline p 153-4
tags: Excellence, Goals

What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.

permalink source: Samuel Johnson
tags: Excellence, Practice

During the 1960's, when the Green Bay Packers dominated professional football, their legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, would begin each preseason training camp with the same speech. He would gather his players together, pick up a football, look them in the eyes and say, "Gentlemen, this is a football." And then he would go onto explain the basics of the game. That may sound a little bit condescending, but history validates the wisdom of his approach. In his nine years with the team, Green Bay was 98-30 and won five NFL titles, including the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi understood that it didn't matter whether a player was an all-pro veteran or a rookie just starting out. If they hoped to be successful as individuals and as a team, every one of them occasionally needed to get reacquainted with the basics ... "Gentlemen, this is a football."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Clarity, Excellence, Experts

"Excellence cannot be sustained indefinitely...you maintain excellence for limited periods of time, and then you lose it...you do not reach peak levels by repeating exactly the same processes that worked in the past. Reaching a level of excellence involves analyzing each individual situation and determining what is right. It entails good communication, cooperation, high expectations, risk, and trust." "Most of us seek quantum leaps in our performance levels by following a strategy of incremental investment. This strategy simply does not work. The land of excellence is safely guarded from unworthy intruders. At the gates stand two fearsome sentries - risk and learning. The keys to entrance are faith and courage. To attain excellence, an individual, group, or organization must care enough about an activity to insist that it fully meets and exceeds the demands of its audience (either internal or external), and this involves a fair amount of risk. Personal and organizational excellence demands experimentation, relfection, and evaluation, and these things in turn lead to learning and growth. Change precipitates growth - some part of the self or the organizational culture is abandoned, encouraging and allowing a new self or a new culture to emerge. The new self or culture usually leads to a synergistic relationship that results in high performance."

permalink source: Robert Quinn, Deep Change, 164, 165.
tags: Excellence

Don't make every sermon better than the last--make every sermon above-average (the average keeps rising)

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Preaching

Before this activity, write "X" on one slip of paper. Add this slip to a bowl containing enough blank slips of paper for all participants to have one. Gather three clear glasses full of water, a spoon, and spoonful of dirt, and a few dead insects. To begin the activity, say, "One of you has chosen a slip of paper with an X on it. Here is your assignment: You represent a congregant or a potential congregant." Line up the three glasses of water and say, "Here are three glasses of water. In one, I'll put just a little bit of dirt, not much, not enough to hurt you." Stir in a teaspoon of soil into the water, then say, "In this glass, I'll put a couple of small bugs; they are minute compared to the amount of water in the glass." Drop in a dead insect, then say, "Now, the person representing a current or potential churchgoer has to drink from one of these glasses." Unless the person is a joker, he or she will choose the clean water. Use this analogy to show how people choose among competing alternatives. Church leaders often excuse their flaws or missteps by saying, "Our church is just a little flawed. We make so few mistakes compared to everything we do right. People won't see the mistakes, and if they do, they'll overlook them. We can get away with it."

permalink source: LeadingIdeas: To-the-Point Training for Christian Leaders
tags: Excellence, Perfectionism, Choices, Ministry

A guest at a hotel was in a hurry to check out when he realized he did not have his briefcase. He went to the bellboy and said, "Would you please hurry to room 1203? I think I left my briefcase there. My limo for the airport leaves in six minutes, so please hurry." The man checked out, and after a few minutes the bellboy came hurrying across the lobby. "Yes, sir," he said. "Your briefcase is still there in 1203." He did just as he was told.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Work

The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time." --

permalink source: Edwin Bliss
tags: Excellence, Perfectionism

Only a mediocre person is always at his best. – W. Somerset Maugham

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. -- John Gardner, Excellence, (New York: Harper and Row, 1971)

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Philosophy, Work

Build on your strengths and your weaknesses will be irrelevant. -- Peter F. Drucker

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Spiritual Formation

[all this is paraphrased] For Superbowl 38, Sports Illustrated shot 16,183 digital pictures shot in Houston's Reliant Stadium using eleven photographers over a span of six hours. All that to gain a handful of photos for their magazine. What's the lesson? Excellence comes through volume. The way to take good photos is to take many. The way to write good essays is to write many. The way to preach good sermons is to preach many.

permalink source: http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-6453-6821
tags: Excellence, Practice, Initiative

The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those who sang best."

permalink source: John James Audubon
tags: Courage, Excellence, Music

The conviction of the Christian workman is that every single piece of work he produces must be good enough to show God. By: William Barclay Source: Galatians/Ephesians Commentary

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Work

If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo carved marble. Sweep streets as Shakespeare wrote pictures. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven will have to say, "Here lives the street sweeper who did his job well." By: Martin Luther King

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Excellence, Work

The problem with the good advice is it's mostly much too simple. Joe Straczinski told me about the time that he, when young, got hold of Harlan Ellison's phone number and phoned him up. He explained that he was a young writer and nobody would publish him. According to Joe, Harlan said "They won't publish you because you're writing crap. Stop writing crap and they'll publish you." Which was very good advice, and Joe took it. But it's sort of simple.

permalink source: Neil Gaiman
tags: Excellence, Wisdom, Writing, Advice

THE 50 WEIRDEST GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Sep 6 2004 By Andrea Henry THEY'RE weird, wonderful and often totally mind-boggling. The most extraordinary human feats are listed in the pages of Guinness World Records, which is 50 years old this week. To celebrate, here are 50 of the strangest achievements. 1 FASTEST TALKER: In 1995, Canadian Sean Shannon recited Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy, 260 words, in 23.8secs. 2 HEAVIEST VEHICLE PULLED OVER 100FT: This year, Derek Boyer of Australia pulled a 30.68-tonne truck-trailer combination 30.5 metres. 3 HIGHEST SHALLOW DIVE: In January, Danny Higginbottom of Louisiana dived 8.90m into 30cm of water. 4 BREATH HELD VOLUNTARILY: The USA's Robert Foster held his breath for 13mins 42.5secs in 1959. 5 LONGEST TIME TO ENDURE FULL BODY ICE CONTACT: Wim Hoff of the Netherlands stood in an ice cube-filled tube for 1hr 17mins in January. 6 MOST CONSECUTIVE POGO-STICK JUMPS: In 1990, Gary Stewart did 177,737 in California. 7 MOST GLASSES BALANCED ON THE CHIN: In 2001, Ashrita Furman managed 75 pint beer glasses for 10.6secs in New York. 8 MOST ONE-FINGER PUSH-UPS: In 1992, Paul Lynch performed 124 in London. 9 OLDEST PERSON TO LOOP THE LOOP: In 1998, Adeline Ablitt, 95, did a glider loop over Leicestershire. 10 HIGHEST TIGHTROPE WALK: Frenchman Michael Menin walked a 3,150 metre-high tightrope in 1989. 11 WALKING - GREATEST DOCUMENTED LIFETIME MILEAGE: Between 1969 and 2000, Arthur Blessitt of Florida, USA, walked 34,501 miles on seven continents while carrying a 3.7-metre cross. 12 HAIRIEST FAMILY: Mexicans Victor and Gabriel Ramos Gomez have 98% of their bodies covered in fur. 13 HIGHEST G-FORCE ENDURED VOLUNTARILY: 82.6g for 0.04secs by Eli L Beeding Jr of the USA in 1958. He spent three days in hospital afterwards. 14 LONGEST ATTACK OF HICCUPS: Charles Osborne of the USA - 1922 to 1990. 15 LONGEST TATTOO SESSION: In 2003, Chris Goodwill spent 33 hours tattooing Kevin Budden in Plumstead, South East London. 16 LONGEST TIME WITH A NAIL IN THE HEAD: Robin Hanshaw of Stoke Poges, Bucks, had a one-inch rusty nail stuck between his ear and eye for 22 years. 17 MOST COMPULSIVE SWALLOWER: In 1927, a Canadian woman had 2,533 objects removed from her stomach, including 947 pins. 18 MOST LIGHTNING STRIKES SURVIVED: Roy C Sullivan from Virginia, USA, was struck for the seventh time in 1977. 19 MOST PIERCED MAN: Luis Antonio Aguero from Cuba has 230 piercings. 20 MOST CHILDREN DELIVERED: American Bobby McCaughey had seven delivered by Caesarean in 1997. 21 MOST FEET SNIFFED: In a 15-year career, Madeline Albrecht sniffed 5,600 feet while working for footcare experts Dr Scholl in the USA. 22 MOST ELASTIC MAN: Pierre Beauchemin is nicknamed Mr Gumby for his ability to contort his arms and legs. 23 FASTEST BALLOON DOG MADE BEHIND BACK: Britain's Craig "Blink" Keith made a balloon poodle in 9.26secs in May, all with his hands behind his back. 24 FASTEST SPEED DRAGGED BEHIND A MOTORBIKE: Gary Rothwell of Liverpool was dragged at 156mph on 2mm titanium-soled boots in 1999. 25 MOST SPOONS BALANCED ON FACE: America's Tim Johnston, 12, balanced 15 on his face for 30secs in May. 26 HEAVIEST TRAIN PULLED WITH BEARD: Ismael Rivas Falcon of Spain pulled a 6,069lb train in 2001. 27 MOST CONSECUTIVE FOOT JUGGLING FLIPS WITH A HUMAN: In 2000, Iranian Ali Bandbaz juggled his brother Massoud for twelve 360o revolutions using his feet. 28 THE HEAVIEST TWINS: In 1978, Billy Leon McCrary weighed 51st 9lbs and his brother, Benny Lloyd, was 57st 1lbs. Both died from heart failure. 29 ORANGE NOSE PUSH: Alistair Ross pushed an orange with his nose along Brighton seafront for a mile last year. 30 MOST WATCHES EATEN: Kim Seung Do from Seoul, South Korea, ate five in 1hr 34mins in 1998. 31 LONGEST MAGGOT BATH: Christine Martin of Horsham, West Sussex, sat in a bath of them for 1hr 30mins in 2002. 32 MOTIONLESS: In 1997, Om Prakash Singh of India stood still for 20hrs, 10mins and 6secs. 33 TALLEST LIVING WOMAN: Sandy Allen of the USA, at 7ft 7ins. 34 HEAVIEST MAN: In 1978, Jon Brower Minnoch of the USA weighed more than 100st. 35 LARGEST HANDS: Hussain Bisad of Somalia's measure 26.9cm from the wrist to the tip of his middle finger. 36 LARGEST CHEST: Robert Earl Hughes of the USA - 315cm. 37 FARTHEST EYEBALL POPPER: Kim Goodman of the USA popped hers 1mm beyond her sockets in 1998. 38 MOST BODY SKIPS: In 2003, handcuffed Ved Prakash Sharma of India skipped with his arms 27 times in a minute, stepping through his arms and bringing them over his head. 39 MOST RATTLESNAKES HELD IN MOUTH: Jackie Bibby of the USA held eight live snakes by their tails for 12.5secs in 2001. 40 FASTEST TIME TO TYPE A MILLION: Between 1982 and 1998, Aussie Les Stewart typed the numbers one to one million in words. 41 LONGEST JOKE-TELLING MARATHON: In 1992, Mike Heeman of the USA cracked 12,682 in 24hrs. 42 BLINDFOLDED SPEED RECORD: Briton Mike Newman hit 164.87mph on a motorbike in Wiltshire last year. 43 LONGEST TIME ON ONE FOOT: Arulanantham Suresh Joachim of Sri Lanka balanced for 76hrs, 40mins in 1997. 44 LONGEST TIME TRAPPED IN A LIFT: Cypriot Kively Papajohn, 76, was trapped from Dec 28, 1987, to Jan 2, 1988. She lived on the food in her shopping bag. 45 LONGEST TONGUE: Britain's Stephen Taylor has a tongue measuring 9.4cm from the tip to the centre of his closed top lip. 46 STRANGEST DIET: Frenchman Michel Lotito has been eating metal and glass since 1959. 47 SHORTEST MAN: In 1990, Gul Mohammed of India was just 57cm tall. 48 MOST TENNIS BALLS HELD IN ONE HAND: Francisco Peinado Toledo of Spain held 18 for 10 seconds last year. 49 OLDEST BAREFOOT WATER-SKIER: George Blair, 87, of the USA waterskied barefoot on Lake Florence, Florida, in 2002. 50 MOST PEOPLE CRAMMED INTO A SMART CAR: 13 girls in Munich, Germany, in 1999. (c) Guinness World Records 2005: Special 50th Anniversary Edition, published by Guinness, price £18.

permalink source: The Mirror (british newspaper)
tags: Excellence

<img src="http://glenandpaula.com/quotes/uploads/1106715494DSC04114.JPG" width="640" height="480"> t-shirt

permalink source: source
tags: Excellence

Or, no, wait, there's this: The fact that I didn't think I heard a single interesting bar of music from the forty or so acts I caught or overheard at Creation shouldn't be read as a knock on the acts themselves, much less as contempt for the underlying notion of Christians playing rock. These were not Christian bands, you see; these were Christian-rock bands. The key to digging this scene lies in that one-syllable distinction. Christian rock is a genre that exists to edify and make money off of evangelical Christians. It's message music for listeners who know the message cold, and, what's more, it operates under a perceived responsibility—one the artists embrace—to "reach people." As such, it rewards both obviousness and maximum palatability (the artists would say clarity), which in turn means parasitism. Remember those perfume dispensers they used to have in pharmacies—"If you like Drakkar Noir, you'll love Sexy Musk"? Well, Christian rock works like that. Every successful crappy secular group has its Christian off-brand, and that's proper, because culturally speaking, it's supposed to serve as a stand-in for, not an alternative to or an improvement on, those very groups. In this it succeeds wonderfully. If you think it profoundly sucks, that's because your priorities are not its priorities; you want to hear something cool and new, it needs to play something proven to please...while praising Jesus Christ. That's Christian rock. A Christian band, on the other hand, is just a band that has more than one Christian in it. U2 is the exemplar, held aloft by believers and nonbelievers alike, but there have been others through the years, bands about which people would say, "Did you know those guys were Christians? I know—it's freaky. They're still fuckin' good, though." The Call was like that; Lone Justice was like that. These days you hear it about indie acts like Pedro the Lion and Damien Jurado (or P.O.D. and Evanescence—de gustibus). In most cases, bands like these make a very, very careful effort not to be seen as playing "Christian rock." It's largely a matter of phrasing: Don't tell the interviewer you're born-again; say faith is a very important part of your life. And here, if I can drop the open-minded pretense real quick, is where the stickier problem of actually being any good comes in, because a question that must be asked is whether a hard-core Christian who turns 19 and finds he or she can write first-rate songs (someone like Damien Jurado) would ever have anything whatsoever to do with Christian rock. Talent tends to come hand in hand with a certain base level of subtlety. And believe it or not, the Christian-rock establishment sometimes expresses a kind of resigned approval of the way groups like U2 or Switchfoot (who played Creation while I was there and had a monster secular--radio hit at the time with "Meant to Live" but whose management wouldn't allow them to be photographed onstage) take quiet pains to distance themselves from any unambiguous Jesus-loving, recognizing that this is the surest way to connect with the world (you know that's how they refer to us, right? We're "of the world"). So it's possible—and indeed seems likely—that Christian rock is a musical genre, the only one I can think of, that has excellence-proofed itself. [http://men.style.com/gq/features/full?id=content_301&pageNum=9 an unbeliever writing about Christian rock]

permalink source: Upon This Rock, by John Jeremiah Sullivan
tags: Excellence, Music

Neither you nor your company needs to be best of class in every category. Like an Olympic decathlon, the object is to achieve true excellence in a few areas, and strength in many.

permalink source: Tom Kelley, The Art of Innovation, p 6.
tags: Excellence