Longford Leader Columnist Mattie Fox: Demanding better will edge quality of what you do

Mattie Fox

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Mattie Fox

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Mattie Fox

Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox

“If you keep your eye on the profit, you’ll skimp on the product. But if you focus on making great products, then the profits will follow.”


Every time I think of the widespread acceptance of mediocrity I’m reminded of the above quote by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple.

I watched him once, at a launch of the then latest Apple software, and for a quiet man he became animated and electric when talking about his designs.

He spoke fluently and with unquestioning certainty about what the new software could do. At the time, nobody in the 1,000 strong audience could really get to grips with everything he was talking about - although he acknowledged that too - but he assured everyone that this was easy to learn.

The man who is constantly worried about the profits will never change, or do, anything really new or groundbreaking.

Jobs was a genius, and practiced his utter belief by constantly hiring the very best people he could source.

He wasn’t interested in the good students coming out of college.

He wanted the very best that he and his helpers could find.

Even then, he had to fire people from time to time, simply because he had set the bar so high.

Once he was presented with a list of seventy students from whom to choose seventeen, and he immediately took forty off the list.

He had an eye for the special people, and never apologised for rejecting anyone who didn’t make the grade.

He knew in his heart that they’d all go on to become successful people, but not in the way he was seeing.

No matter what your occupation, you can learn a lot from the principles of Steve Jobs.

Whether you’re a farmer, builder, doctor, teacher, or housekeeper, if you aspire to do things better, you’ll soon find that no matter how well you do something, there’s always a little more you can do, to edge the quality of what you do, just that little bit better.

Try not to accept the scourge of mediocrity, by demanding better, you’ll draw attention to those who really don’t care and go through life in a rush of nothingness.

People who really don’t care about taking care of that for which they are responsible, need reminding that they do have responsibilities, and that it’s not so difficult to change what’s seen as ‘good enough’, to something special.