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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
A company has all sorts of works. The CEO of the company has to ensure setting and leading the vision and purpose of the organization and building the Senior Executive Team. The Senior Executive Team in turn should ensure the implementation and execution of the vision and mission of the organization through the ground staff. The ground staff in turn should work hard to achieve the goals envisaged by the organization. Excellence at all levels is required to achieve the goals. But is it possible to achieve the desired goals if the office ambience is clumsy. No, it’s not. The office should present a healthy and neat environment. Needless to add, the cleaning staff too has an important role. No job is either great or menial. Every job demands excellence at its level.

Excellence is achieved with setting a bench mark for self. By placing high standards we create accountability and responsibility for self. Settling for mediocrity in work is crime. Evaluate the job as a self critic. Excellence also demands knowledge, experience and expertise in the job. But one emotion outdoes all these factors required for excellence, and that is Passion. The drive of passion is so strong that the person goes all out to learn and put his best effort despite all the short comings.

Passion does not require talent. It doesn’t expect expertise or thorough knowledge also. Passion is the enthusiasm for the job. It is an acute and intense feeling of involvement in the job. It is an irrational and irresistible urge to the job. It does not matter how the world interprets it, what matters is, the soulful enjoyment one draws in the job. A job done with passion speaks for itself. We misinterpret passion for working in creative talents. In fact passion is taking onus of excellence in whatever field we are pursuing.

Once a building was being constructed. Three masons were at work. A passerby asked one of them what he was doing. The mason very reluctantly informed that he was doing a mechanical job of putting one brick over the other. The passerby came across the second mason and asked him what he was doing. The second mason replied that he was doing a very menial job which messed up his hands with concrete. The passerby then came across the third mason and asked him what he was doing. The third mason replied with a smile that he was in the process of building a house, which would have airy windows and big doors. The colourful walls would have decorative paintings. The house would be surrounded by lawn, for the kids to play. The third mason invited the passerby to see the building once it was finished. Saying, so the third mason went on to work. This small story depicts the attitude of people while at work.

We all fall short of excellence when we work in parameters set by others. We fail to do justice to our jobs, when we are dictated by external factors and not guided by inner self. Most of us commit an embarrassing mistake that a job is a formality to be justified as per our pay package. In actuality job is the god sent opportunity to render our life a meaning and purpose. It is an opportunity to serve society as well as for self development.

“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

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