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Excellence Is a High-Cost Item

Tom Peters is the co-author of two of the most widely read books on the subject of work in the twentieth century. His second book, A Passion for Excellence, sets forth the mandates for excellence in the work arena. He’s emphatic about the need for prioritizing the customer, backing up your product with thorough service, and working from the strength of integrity. He draws his discussion of excellence to a conclusion by talking about its cost.

An honest but alarming statement appears in the last page of the last chapter of the book.

We are frequently asked if it is possible to “have it all”—a full and satisfying personal life and a full and satisfying, hard-working professional one. Our answer is: No. The price of excellence is time, energy, attention and focus, at the very same time that energy, attention and focus could have gone toward enjoying your daughter’s soccer game. Excellence is a high cost item.

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