Bob Tamasy: Is Quality Still Job One?

Saturday, December 14, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Do you remember the Ford commercial of years ago that proclaimed, “Quality is Job One”? According to the ad, the carmaker’s primary responsibility was to ensure buyers of its vehicles would always receive the highest-quality products.

When I was reminded of this motto recently, it prompted me to wonder about quality: What is it, and how is it achieved? A recent visit to a plant operated by a manufacturing company I’ve been working with provided some insight into these questions.

We often think of quality in terms of something made with great precision and exquisite care. For instance, the Stradivarius violins and other stringed instruments handcrafted during the 17th and 18th centuries by members of the Stradivari family. Many experts consider these instruments – of which about 650 remain in existence today – to be unsurpassed in quality.

That makes sense for things meticulously made one at a time. Time and effort can be devoted to making them as good as possible. But what about quality on a production line when hundreds or even thousands of something must be produced over a short period of time? As one of the men I was talking with at the manufacturing plant observed, quality is simply doing the job right each and every time. No exceptions.

Think of it this way: If you needed surgery, would you go to a surgeon whose success rate was only three out of five? For every three patients that did extremely well, two others died? Or how about an airline pilot with a 75% success rate on landings, meaning his planes crashed only one out of every four times? Would you be eager to travel on his aircraft?

When we look for quality, whether it’s prescription medicine, a can of beans, a computer or a mattress, we rightfully presume we’ll receive the manufacturer’s very best product every time we purchase it. As consumers we expect consistent, every-time quality and refuse to accept less than the highest standard.

But I sometimes wonder whether we have the same appreciation for quality when it comes to how we conduct our daily lives.

In Colossians 3:17 the apostle Paul wrote, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” In case we might have missed that admonition, he reinforced it six verses later: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” That sounds like a pretty high standard.

To me this means whether we’re a mail carrier, grocery clerk, schoolteacher, engineer, airline attendant or server in a restaurant, whatever we do should be done with quality that would be suitable for God Himself. That means putting forth our very best every time, regardless of the circumstances.

Whether we’re painting a room, cooking a meal, or performing volunteer work, we should do it as if doing it for the Lord – because ultimately, we are. In the Old Testament the Israelites were instructed to give always from their “first fruits,” selecting the very best to present to the temple priests. To give second best, offering their castoffs even once, was unacceptable.

The Bible doesn’t use the phrase, but for followers of Christ, it’s clear that “quality is job one.” Jesus gave us His very best – including His life on the cross. He deserves our very best in return. Not once, or occasionally, but all the time.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



Bob Tamasy: Laboring For The Right Things

Since I write my blog posts a couple weeks in advance, I’m now thinking about Labor Day since that’s when this will appear. For some reason the words to the Beatles’ tune, “A Hard Day’s Night,” come to mind: “It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog…. I should be sleeping like a log.” Actually, having a dog, the phrase “working like a dog” doesn’t compute ... (click for more)

Lee To Present Fall U-Church Series

Lee University’s U-Church series will offer another eclectic line-up for this fall, providing students with the opportunity to worship together in an atypical chapel format. The line-up includes Desperation Band on Sept. 14, Ballet Magnificat! on Oct. 26, and the student-led service “An Evening of Worship” on Nov. 16.  Opening the season on Sept.14 will be Desperation Band, ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library - And Response

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)