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Pursuing Perfection

“The Gods can see them.”

The greatest sculptor of ancient Greece, Phidias, around 440 BC made the statues that to this day, 2,400 years later, still stand on the roof of the Parthenon in Athens. When Phidias submitted his bill, the city accountant of Athens refused to pay it. “These statues stand on the roof of the temple, and on the highest hill in Athens. Nobody can see anything but their fronts. Yet, you have charged us for sculpturing them in the round, that is, for doing their backsides, which nobody can see.” “You are wrong,” Phidias retorted. “The Gods can see them.”

Whenever people ask me which of my books I consider the best, I smile and say, “The next.” I do not, however, mean it as a joke. I mean it the way Verdi meant it when he talked of writing an opera at eighty in the pursuit of a perfection that had always eluded him. Thou I am older now than Verdi was when he wrote Falstaff, I am still thinking and working on to additional books, each of which, I hope, will be better than any of my earlier ones, will be more important, and well come a little close to excellence.

ACTION POINT: Pursue perfection in your work, however elusive.

Drucker on Asia

* Source: The Daily Drucker by Peter F. Drucker

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