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Perfection vs. Excellence

So you know I’ve got a thing for excellence. And it seems I like to make my case for excellence using football analogies, which is fitting since I’m a football nut. Yesterday, I came across Greg Cosell’s great piece on the Evolution of NFL Offense (a highly recommended read for football fans) and one quote (attributed to Vince Lombardi) struck me as exactly what I’ve always been trying to say about excellence but have never been able to express as succinctly:

“We are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence.

Yes, Vince, yes. THIS. A thousand times this.

It is easy for us to get caught up in the perfection game. Or to realize it’s not achievable and adopt a ho-hum approach or an “it is what it is” approach to work and life and all we hope to accomplish. But when you consider that in pursuing perfection we might achieve excellence – that sounds exactly right to me. And something worth chasing.

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