The Network Journal's 40 Under Forty
Ten Years of dynamic achievers - Mastering the Art of Excellence
Here we are, 10 years and 400 dynamic achievers later. We have reached this milestone in honoring each year 40 under-forty outstanding Black men and women because a pool of excellence already exists. In that pool are those who excel and those who master the art of excellence.
Mastering the art of excellence means mastering the art of learning. It also means sustaining the competitive advantage that comes from, to paraphrase Booker T. Washington, doing common things in uncommon ways.
Washington—teacher, author, poet, civil and human rights activist and founder of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, in Tuskegee, Ala.—is one of the two men most widely quoted on excellence.
The second is Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, who said, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
At the April 20 Premier’s Service Excellence Awards in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Premier Sibusiso Ndebele quoted both men in honoring public servants who went beyond their call-of-duty in service to the province and its people. Of the day, he said, “It is a day where all of us gathered here need to reflect on what service excellence is all about.” For TNJ, this time is that day.