Are you about getting it done, or how well you get it done? Do you dash off memos, emails, or work product of other sorts, with only a quick look – if that? Do you insist on being proud of whatever you produce and put your name to?
Quality, quality, quality
The other day I mused about a gentleman I’m helping with some editing and related tasks. In assisting him, I had to risk hurting his feelings with my recommendations. I don’t know if my opinion will be heeded, but if not, I’ll try again. I care about the result. I care about quality – and quality control. I can’t sit back and accept a mediocre outcome if I’m involved in a project, and I certainly can’t contribute a lackluster effort.
I realize some might say that’s perfectionism. I would argue it’s something else – a cousin, perhaps, and I recognize its relationship to this set of behaviors. But I would call my insistence on quality a matter of commitment to the integrity of my work. To my word. To my reputation.
In volatile times, what can never be taken from us? Wouldn’t the integrity of our work, our relationships, our word, and our reputation be ours – regardless of marital or employment status, square footage, corner office, or carat count on our fingers?
Or am I delusional – and all of this is a bit of phantom leg, leftover from another generation’s principles?
- Do you keep your word?
- Do you insist on quality if you’re involved?
- Is integrity situational?
- In your work, your volunteering, your assistance to a friend or spouse, do you apply equal standards of quality control?
I will readily admit that I care what people think of me – some more than others. I care that I am considered honest, honorable, and reliable. I care that people trust my word and associate it with integrity and delivering on my promises.
Impossible expectations? Setting the bar too high?
No, I don’t expect perfect behavior of myself or anyone else – whatever “perfect” means. Nor can we give 100% to everything we’re involved in. It’s just not possible. We prioritize, we make compromises. That’s normal. But I set my standards high, and I like it that way.
I’ll add that I don’t feel compelled to color inside the lines, and when life overflows, of course quality suffers – we need to adjust commitments, look for shortcuts, find alternatives. But “reputation?” While it is mutable – its confines or lack thereof fluid to a degree – I insist on its importance, in my own life. Personally, and professionally.
So what do you think? Is reputation “old hat?” What about honor? Are these concepts to live by, or a thing of the past?