I once had a boss (I'll call him Ted) who could skillfully ask this question:
“Is this your best work?”
Ted didn’t ask it as an indictment, but rather, as a provocation (mostly). He believed strongly in effort, collaboration, teamwork, innovation, and creativity. He did NOT believe in boilerplate reports, carbon copy initiatives, half-hatched efforts, and compliance-based work.
Ted understood that most folks work best when they are given autonomy, mastery, and purpose in their work (see/hear Daniel Pink). He also understood that the most creative, energizing, and interesting work emerges when folks are given the chance, and encouraged, to dazzle.
Any of us can make our work magical and dazzling, if that is what we choose to do (there's THAT verb again). Johnny the Bagger is a superb example.
Whether we’re competing for business,
drilling oil wells, or
doesn’t it deserve our “best work” today?
Go ahead: Dazzle 'em!