The Principle of Quality

May 7, 2015

In a previous post we discussed principles and how they function.  If you have not read that post, this one may not make sense, so please check it out HERE .

Quality is a primary principle of our human existence. The principle of quality simply means that we should always do our best.  As a principle, this applies to organizations and individuals, small tasks and large ones.  If there is a better way to do something, do it the better way.  Additionally, effort must be expended to learn, improve and gain capability to be better.

Quality is a principle because doing your best, minimizes problems and errors.  Problems or errors that occur are easily forgiven and cured as they are honest mistakes.  Honest mistakes are always easily forgiven. Mistakes born of apathy or laziness are not.

If you do your best at any task you will feel good about yourself- even if you fail. This is the essence of morale.  If you do a half-effort job, you cannot feel good about it even if you succeed.  This is the flip side of morale.

So your thought may now be, “well, duh of course doing your best is important.” I would argue that point. Look around you; coworkers, waiters, cab drivers, TSA agents or bathroom attendants, whoever you see- are they each doing their best or just what they have to do to get by?  I bet you will also notice that the ones operating with quality are happier, and probably always have better results.  Think through your day, your week and even your month- at work and at home. Have you given your best or just gotten by.  It’s likely that your answer is mixed.  Reflect on your answer for a few moments. When you were producing the best work, you’ll likely see that you’re much happier when you honor quality- even if it is harder work.

The fact is, Principles seem obvious when stated, but because they are not put up as guideposts and rules to follow, people tend to ignore them when they are inconvenient.  I guarantee that every time you defy quality, your result and your happiness is harmed.  Think of the impact this has, and the ripple effects on you personally, and your organization. 

I challenge you to spend this next week making Quality a habit. Evaluate your actions and decisions daily and be sure you are in line and taking the extra effort to honor quality.  After the week, how was your success and happiness?

The funny thing about this exercise is that you can answer these questions accurately without waiting the week, and knowing the answer, very few people will actually change in any way. Quality takes hard work and effort.

If this post changes you, I would love to hear about it – maybe we should work together!

I wish you understanding,

Greg Stoutenburgh