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Pursuit of Excellence
Dr. KS Raghavan Bookmark and Share

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” said Aristotle. If we go by this, we need to have a proper mindset to achieve excellence. Sometime back I read some guidelines to develop the needed mindset. They are what the writer called “Seven Steps to Achieve Excellence”. The seven steps are detailed below.

  1. Be effective... do the right thing.
  2. Be efficient...  do the right thing rightly
  3. Improve… do the thing better
  4. Omit… do away with unnecessary things
  5. Adapt… do the things which others are doing well
  6. Be unusual… do things which others are not doing
  7. Break the barrier… do the things that “cannot” be done.
As can be seen, the steps involve increasing degree of difficulties as we move from Step 1 to Step 7. The first four steps involve total awareness of what one is doing. Step 5 focuses on learning from elsewhere. In Step 6 the emphasis is on being  innovative. Finally in Step 7, one tries to meet a challenge.

Incidentally the first two steps were made very popular by Peter Drucker, the Management Guru. He said “Do the right thing first, the thing right next”. The former is effectiveness and the latter is efficiency. He further added “Doing the right thing is leadership, doing the thing right is management”.

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