Ostinato Rigore

Each of us has an internal standard for our base level of performance with our work.  Some of the work is more passionate for us and we can go well above the base standard.  Some of the work can become relatively mindless and we might just get it done, but at least to the base level of performance we set as our standard.

What is your internal standard?

Leonardo da Vinci constructed over 1,000 projects in his lifetime.  As a motto for his internal standard level of performance for each one, he adopted the words ostinato rigore.  Translated, this means “stubborn rigor or tenacious application.”  If a work of his wasn’t completed to his level of internal standard, he would destroy it or completely rework it.  In application, he would never settle for anything but excellence.

With relation to stubborn rigor and/or tenacious application, da Vinci continually learned and applied what he was learning into each new project.  What he learned in mastery of one work would then be transposed into the next work, each one building upon the other.  From my point of view, Leonardo was an applied learner with a disciplined practice of learning and tenaciously applying what he had learned to reach the highest level of impact as an artist and an inventor.  To many, he was the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time).

Tenacious application implies a structured and controlled way of planning, developing, analyzing and evaluating our work.  The work is steeped in the reality of the conditions surrounding it.  The creation of this work rises from intent through to realized impact.  The work exceeds the demands of the stakeholders that contribute to it and to those who will benefit the most from it.

As a leader, a coach and as a practicing applied learner for several decades, an internal standard of excellence with tenacious application/stubborn rigor greatly differentiates your work.  Working for a level of greater impact is much more plausible and probable.



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