A Broader Perspective on Quality

Author: Robert Barry | August 31, 2020

Quality can mean different things to different people in different circumstances. Regardless of how hard it may be to describe quality we have a feel for knowing it when we see it, and we notice when something is not up to our perceived quality standards. While we at Middough tend to focus more on the technical aspects of quality, the following quotes from mostly well-known personalities in very different fields of endeavor may help broaden our perspective of the meaning (and importance) of quality:

Quality Management Consultants:

“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” – Peter Drucker (Management Consultant)

“Quality is everyone's responsibility.” – W. Edwards Deming (Management Consultant)

“When you're out of quality, you're out of business.” – Philip B. Crosby (Initiated Zero Defects Program)

“Quality is such an attractive banner that sometimes we think we can get away with just waving it, without doing

the hard work necessary to achieve it.” – Philip B. Crosby (Initiated Zero Defects Program)

“The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it.” – Stephen Covey


“The quality of your work, in the long run, is the deciding factor on how much your services are valued by the world.” – Orison Swett Marden (Inspirational Author)

“Quality is not what happens when what you do matches your intentions. It is what happens when what you do

matches your customers' expectations.” – Guaspari

Philosophers, Authors and Intellectuals:

“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” – Aristotle (Greek Philosopher)

“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – Mark Twain (Author/Humorist)

“One of the rarest things that a man ever does, is to do the best he can.” – Josh Billings (Author/Humorist)

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” – Hunter S. Thompson (Journalist)

“By the work one knows the workman.” – Jean de La Fontaine (16th Century French Poet)

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” – John Ruskin (20th Century Architect)

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein (Theoretical Physicist)

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” – Benjamin Franklin (American Founding Father)

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” – Winston Churchill (British Prime Minister)

“It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn't.” – Martin Van Buren (8th President of the United States)

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President of the United States)

“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.” – Wyatt Earp (Old West Lawman)

International Business Leaders:

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs (Co-Founder of Apple)

“Quality is the best business plan.” – Ed Catmull (Co-Founder of Pixar)

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” – Henry Ford (Founder of Ford Motor Company)

“There's no great mystery to satisfying your customers. Build them a quality product and treat them with respect. It's that simple.” – Lee Iacocca (Automobile Executive)

“There is only one boss. The customer.” – Sam Walton (Founder of Walmart)

“Give them quality. That's the best kind of advertising.” – Milton Hershey (Founder of the Hershey Company)

“You seldom improve quality by cutting costs, but you can often cut costs by improving quality.” – Karl Albrecht (German Entrepreneur and Founder of Aldi)

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.”– Warren Buffett (Investor/Business Tycoon)

Inspirational Coaches and Heroes:

“The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen

field of endeavor.” – Vince Lombardi (Coach Green Bay Packers)

“Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” – George Halas (Founder/Coach of the Chicago Bears)

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden (Basketball Coach of the UCLA Bruins)

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” – William A. Foster (WWII Marine and Medal of Honor Recipient for throwing himself on a Japanese grenade at Okinawa)

And finally, maybe the simplest way to visualize the meaning and importance of quality:

“Quality is like buying oats. If you want nice fresh oats you have to pay a fair price. If you can be satisfied with oats that have already been thru the horse that comes a little cheaper.” – Proverb

The next time you think about quality, consider broader thinking than just our technical deliverables. Applying quality principles to all we do is a key element of Performance You Trust™.