Perfection vs. Excellence

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by Paul Salmonson.

Learning About The Process Of Integration – Witnessing Perfection

“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing” – Harriet Beryl Braiker

jordan final shot

Jordan's Final Shot

Do you remember Michael Jordan’s last shot against the Utah Jazz in 1998 that clinched the championship? Certainly, this was a brief moment of perfection in the making.

As we are continuing our efforts to integrate a very fragmented construction process with our task force, we are reminded about our end goal. That is to achieve a process that aligns all party’s interests, that will enable the dissemination of information to trades, builders, manufacturers, distributors, and the market in such a manner that has these three key areas realized:

  • Velocity – speed to market in such a fashion that unit pricing coincides with energy rating and market demand
  • Accuracy – that the market research through online analytics supports justification of new floor plans to go to market and to have accurate construction documents that reduces material waste and field errors
  • Results – that key performance metrics are met.

This reminds me of what it takes for the likes of a Michael Jordan to achieve such greatness as an athlete. For he certainly needed to be fast, accurate, and score points for his team to be victorious. However, I don’t believe there was a day in his career that he felt he had reached perfection. As should we all be constantly willing to pay the price of practice, work, research, risk, or any other element to push the envelop of constant improvement in our lives.

For me, I believe we can witness and/or attain perfection but for a moment. This is what I believe the difference is between excellence and perfection. It is the love of our trade, craft, profession, sport, relationships, and any other areas in our lives that allows us to endure the pain associated with the attainment of goals. These goals are often associated with excellence as defined by constant improvement and the disdain for mediocrity.

On that note, here’s a great clip that shows Brad Pit catching a fish in a near impossible situation. His (character’s) love and dedication of the sport allowed him to be in that very brief moment of perfection:

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