To Pursue Personal Excellence, Start with a Focus on Value
by Alan Willett
September 22, 2020

“To stand out from the crowd requires you to stand up and stand for what you believe in.”— Gift Gugu Mona

Steve Jobs once said, “We are here to put a dent in the universe.”  When I think about that quite literally, I do laugh out loud.  I don’t think we could even put a scratch in the paint of the universe. But I do appreciate the idea! Exceptional leaders differentiate themselves from the rest when they demonstrate a passion for making a positive, remarkable difference in their parts of the universe, or perhaps better put, their part of the world. 

Here are three keys to creating the “make a dent” mindset.

Focus on value.
To make a difference, we must think beyond tools and methodologies.  The projects we create must have a positive benefit to our customers and end-users.  Before we undertake any project, our thinking must begin with “What is the value to all who will be using or impacted by these ideas?”

Inspire the best in those around you.
Exceptional leaders see every project as an opportunity to do more than creating something. They also view it as an opportunity to build people’s skills, talent, and experience.  This is almost as important as the project itself.  Leaders should use projects to inspire people to bring forth their best selves and their full talent.

Pursue personal excellence. 
Exceptional leaders must know themselves well.  They must know their strengths. They must know their own weaknesses.  They should work to improve. They should bring in others to help.  To make that positive difference, that dent in our part of the world, we must constantly engage in the calm pursuit of excellence.

  1. List item number one goes here
  2. List item number two or the second can go right here just after list item number one
  3. I guess this one must be the third item because here it is just after the second one
  4. And so on with items in this ordered list!
  • List item number one goes here
  • List item number two or the second can go right here just after list item number one
  • I guess this one must be the third item because here it is just after the second one
  • And so on with items in this ordered list!
They find it hard to believe that is possible to deliver defect-free software to customers.  And I am telling them our goal is to deliver near defect-free software to test. I am also working to help them understand that doing work in this was does not sacrifice speed. It is actually faster.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,


Alan Willett

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Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,


Alan Willett

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