Tag Archives: National Communication Association

To attain excellence, first learn to recognize it

Describing a skill on your resume in a manner that grabs the reader’s attention means credentials or endorsements. The best endorsements are provided by the most discriminating judges in the discipline. In most fields, the criteria that discriminates top-notch performance from mediocrity is not arbitrary, but well-known and accepted. If it is your ambition to be judged as excellent, expect your performance to be critiqued against those criteria, whether you choose to pay attention to them or even acquaint yourself with them. First, then, learn and competently apply them in assessing your own work and that of others.

In photography, an excellent photo must be sharp where it should be sharp. That means discarding many otherwise interesting shots, including this one of four turtles. Most of the 50 photos I took one afternoon looked OK in the camera viewer, but not full-screen on the computer monitor. I didn’t use a tripod and it shows. The statuette nearby is still life, but not the turtles, especially their heads. Even with a tripod, hundreds of attempts might be needed to obtain one photo presenting four well-focused turtles. My impatience won out. I liked the composition and posted the photo at right on my Flickr page. Does it matter? It does if I want to be taken seriously as a photographer. If my personal brand includes consistent excellence, this photo must be discarded, so I reluctantly deleted it from Flickr. And that is the third lesson. Continue reading