Are your standards lowerable?

William Liao
1 min readFeb 27, 2024

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Are your standards rigid and unwavering, or do they bend and shift according to the context?

After Lewis Hamilton’s 2nd placement in the Spanish Grand Prix in the 2023 Formula 1 season, the Team’s Principal Toto Wolff briefly entertained the idea of taking a team photo which historically has been reserved for 1st-place wins only, before eventually recentering his mindset and rejecting the idea, declaring “No team photo for second and third.”

Another member of the Mercedes team declared, “We don’t lower our standards.”

Wolff led Mercedes through an impressive 8 consecutive Formula 1 Constructors’ Championships and his unwavering standards of excellence very likely had something to do with it.

It’s hard to know what the overall quality of your output will be when your standards ebb and flow.

On the other hand, you can be confident in the quality of your output when you firmly hold the same standards for everything you do.

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William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)