Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Principle of Excellence

This principle of excellence is one which Americans seem to be losing, and at a time when the Nation stands in need of it. A lack of excellence implies mediocrity. And in a society that is willing to accept a standard of mediocrity, the opportunities for personal failure are boundless. Mediocrity can destroy us as surely as perils far more famous.

It is important that we distinguish between what it means to fail at a task and what it means to be mediocre. There is all the difference in the world between the life lived with dignity and style which ends in failure, and one which achieves power and glory, yet is dull, unoriginal, unreflective, and mediocre. In a real sense, what matters is not so much whether we make a lot of money or hold a prestigious job; what matter is that we seek out others with knowledge and enthusiasm—that we become people who can enjoy our own company.

Admiral H. Rickover

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

How great and true these words are! Having always felt that each of us can make a difference is so very important. Without that attitude it is difficult to inspire all those concerned to do their very best at any job. Most of us are unable, including myself, to do the very utmost in carrying out our responsibilities, we are only human and are therefore subject to human frailties, but it should be our endeavor to truly make a difference in a positive manner.

Very Respectfully,
Navyman834

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

The longer I exist in this world and am still able to comprehend the words that I see in articles that I find worthwhile reading with these old eyes the more I appreciate the words that you offer to your readership. Three articles in succession concerning Admiral Hyman Rickover, and he was not even associated with IW, or loss of confidence to command, whatever that may be. I have stated before that I am not a nuc, but Admiral Rickover as mentioned in my work “Once I Was A Navyman” was one of my heroes and I have not backed away from that view even one iota for nearly 40 years when I served on a nuclear powered Submarine and was witness to his leadership of the nuclear powered Navy that he created. I do not read about or even hear of Flags that have the drive or tenacity to provide the tools for their country that Admiral Hyman Rickover provided and faithfully led for many years.

Very Respectfully,
Navyman834

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

Navyman 834

I really appreciate your comments and continued readership. Thank you very much.