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Home / Articles / Columnists / Second Thoughts /  Your Personal Best
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Monday, November 5,2012

Your Personal Best

By Mort Crim  
If there’s one thing that’ll ruffle a true Scotsman’s skirt, it’s to discover his kilt is badly or cheaply made. So many kilts are falling apart these days that the industry has formed a watchdog group. So far, seven of Scotland’s one hundred kilt makers have joined the Scottish Kilt- Makers Association, entitling them to install special “quality” labels.

Henry Kissinger is of German descent, not Scottish, but he’s always been a stickler for quality.

When he was secretary of state, Kissinger once asked an aide to prepare a report. The aide worked around the clock for several days, then nervously handed in the completed account.

Shortly afterward, Kissinger returned it with a note that read simply, “Redo it.”

To aim at the best and to remain essentially ourselves is one and the same thing –Janet Erskine Stuart

The aide attacked the project with still greater diligence, then handed Kissinger the second version. Again Kissinger tossed it back to him with a note requesting that he do it again. After this happened a third time, the exasperated aide went in to Kissinger and told him, “Look, I’ve completed this report three times and this is the best job I can do.”

To which Kissinger replied, “In that case, I’ll read it now.”

One of life’s greatest satisfactions is knowing we did our best, whether sewing kilts, shaping foreign policy, or baking a cake. The great taste of excellence and quality lingers long after the sweet taste of an easy job or cheap price has turned sour.

 

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