By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor of Southern Writers Magazine
Carter sat with expectations of praise but was surprised by Rickover with the question, “Did you do your best?” Carter thought then answered, “No, Sir, I didn’t always do my best.” With that Rickover ask, “Why not?!” The impact of that question was far reaching. Carter titled his book, Why Not the Best? It was also used as the theme of his Presidential Campaign.
I remember reading Carter’s book and asking myself, “Why not indeed?” Why not the best? David Cottrell in his book TheMagic Question reminds us what being the best means when he stated, ““The rewards for being the best as opposed to being average are heavily skewed. People want to work for the best, buy from the best, and deal with the best in almost every situation in our society. The best-selling books sell millions more copies than the average books. The best movies generate millions more dollars than 50 average movies. Likewise the rewards for being the best within your industry are enormous. Customers flock to winners. When you create an atmosphere where needs are being met, people will choose to go above and beyond to make a connection with the best.”
“Why not the best?” is something each of us must ask ourselves. We must search our souls and weigh the rewards against the commitment it takes to be the best. Once we have done that we may then ask ourselves, “Why not indeed?”