"If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude." – Colin Powell
Do you get excited about photoshoots? Those who love taking photos, probably do; others not so much. I personally am borderline — I do, and then I get nervous wondering how the photos are going to turn out. Today I had one of those scheduled here in Atlanta — the photographer was Richard of richardanthonyevans.com.
It was my first time working with Richard. I am particularly excited about this photoshoot because it leads to the announcement of my new website.
— Lema Abeng-Nsah (@LemaNsah) June 9, 2015
Richard is a true professional at what he does. The atmosphere during today's session was that of ease, he gave clear directives, even spent time explaining some basics of photography to my 12 year old daughter – which was really cool. It was a great experience.
After we wrapped up, he promised that the finished products would be ready in a couple of days.
A couple of days for me is a long time. However, I prefer quality, so wait I will.
Behind the scenes
Later I thought about the work that will now go into choosing the best shots, touching them up to ensure a beautiful, professional look, before putting them to use. This is where creativity, professional know-how and attention to detail become important. Time and effort are the currency.
I realized that this sequence of events reflects a person's success journey in many ways.
There is so much more to a project than the start (or front-end work), isn't there?
Most of the hardwork happens behind the scenes, away from the public eye — whether it's making sales calls, editing an article, photos or a video before publication, preparing slides for a training, setting up a company meeting, organizing an event, designing a new line of clothes, job hunting, taking an exam.
It is the grueling work that we do by ourselves hour after hour, day in and day out, that produces quality results, and lays the groundwork for success.
Pleasing work results from many, many hours of hard work, focus and determination.
What are the headshots going to look like? How good is Richard's finishing? How good were my poses? Is he going to deliver quality? … these questions have been running through my mind all day. So as the photographer goes to work on his computer, photo-editting, all I (his client) am looking forward to are wonderful photos.
I am excited.
This leads me to the next question: as a leader, what does your team, audience, your clients, customers expect from you whenever there's a project at hand? Quality or *shrug* whatever-comes-our-way!? When all is said and done, do they get the best bang for their money?
Great leaders always choose quality.
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” - William A. Foster
Sometimes by going for quality, we may have to make difficult sacrifices of time, even missing a deadline, but that's OK. It always pays off in the end.
We may not always hit the perfect mark, however, the effort in trying imparts important skills and helps us develop in self-confidence.
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs
I look forward to sharing those shots with you when they become available. Meanwhile, I hope today's reminder that quality matters a great deal inspires you to go the extra mile for excellence. Cheers to your success!