Excellence

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might . . . . .”
Ecclesiastes 9:10

Edwards Deming (1900-1993) was an American engineer and management consultant who is best known for his work in getting Japan back on its feet after World War II.  I have read several of Deming’s books, watched some of his lecture videos and I remain a devotee of his management style.  He was a stickler for quality, knowledgeable effort and excellence.  And I love his words of wisdom.  “There is no finish line for excellence.”  “It is not enough to do your best.  You have to know what to do.  And then do your best.”   

Deming was a firm believer that problems within an organization come from the few at the top — not from those below.  “Hold everyone accountable?  Ridiculous!”   Deming believed that those at the top of an organization were fully responsible for pretty much everything within the organization.  “A bad system will beat a good person every time.”  “Does experience help?  NO!  Not if we are doing the wrong things.”   “There must be consistency in direction.” 

If one chooses a book of Edwards Deming – to read and absorb – it would likely be Out of the Crisis.  It is crisp and well-written and speaks to how to be a great manager and respected leader.  The reviews are abundant and positive.  Given the erratic and unpredictable direction of America, I’m tempted to send a few copies to . . . . never mind.

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