The Trait that is as Rare as a Ten Carat Diamond

mocha moments

dil·i·gence 1



1. Earnest and persistent application to an undertaking; steady effort; assiduity.

2. Attentive care; heedfulness.

As humans we all search for the path of least resistance. We delay what needs to be done so as not to experience theundercover-boss-maaco-jose-455x684 discomfort or unhappiness that doing this particular activity might bring so we put it off with “just now”, “maybe later” or “I’ll start on it tomorrow.”

We want the rewards but we don’t want to put in the effort.

Let’s take weight loss: we want to lose weight but we don’t want to put in the effort needed to lose the weight. Instead we walk twice for the week and expect miracles. We are not diligent around what needs to be done.

On an Undercover Boss episode featuring Maaco’s President Jose Costa, I saw what diligence was and what it definitely was not!

Situation A: One of the employees, Body Tech Jim, tells Costa that he chooses what he can and can’t get away with. While Costa is sanding a small dent in a car, Jim insists that the car needs to be fixed quickly, saying that

not every dent needs to be perfect

Jim says that you learn what you can get away with once the paint is applied and explained that people come to Maaco for a cheap paint job, saying that Maaco is “sub par.”

Situation B: The last person Jose meets with is a detailer named Acey. This job has a series of actions laid out in consecutive order on an  official Maaco detailing board. Acey constantly reminds Jose that if he ever forgets what to do next – just look at the board and follow its instructions, come hell or high water. Detailing involves removing the tape after painting in a particular manner so as not to remove paint, vacuuming, wiping down the inside glass, cleaning the wheels and much more but those things must be done in a particular order, within a particular time frame.


It’s not just about hard work, it’s not just about persistence.

Diligence involves doing it right – expeditiously, efficiently, AND effectively. Not cutting corners as in situation A but following the steps consistently ALL the time – “looking at the board” if you get lost.

It’s about feeling good about YOURSELF and the work you’re doing. It’s about doing your best and putting your signature on each bit of work that you do!

Steven Scott says diligence is a learnable skill that combines: creative persistence, a smart-working effort rightly planned and rightly performed in a timely efficient and effective manner to attain a result that is pure and of the highest quality of excellence.

So next time you feel like taking a short cut – too lazy to perform all the steps – remember the word diligent – DO IT RIGHT till you can’t do it wrong!


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One response to “The Trait that is as Rare as a Ten Carat Diamond”

  1. I must admit that I’ve chosen to be diligent in some areas of my life, seems I need to adjust this mindset and apply diligence to all areas of my life  as is possible. THANK YOU for your inspirational posts during 2014 and to date. they were a source of comfort and energizer to me.  THANK YOU.

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