"A computer chip is the result of literally a thousand multidisciplinary tasks; doing 999 of them right guarantees failure, not success. So our watchwords must be accountability, discipline, and painstaking attention to detail -- at every level of the organization.

"Which makes us different from every other business -- right? Hardly. The pace of our business may be faster than most, the rate of change more intense, but the basic challenges are familiar ones. Managers in our industry worry about the same things that worry managers everywhere. Are we hiring the right people? Are our people working on the right problems? Are we spending enough money or too much money? Are we spending money on the right things? Are we developing the right products and are we shipping them on time? Are we going to make the plan this quarter? Next year?

"If we meet these challenges intelligently and effectively, we win. If we don't, we lose. So we don't bother with the latest management theories du jour or exotic new 'paradigms' of competition. Instead, we embrace a simple proposition:

"If everyone in our company makes ordinary business decisions in a commonsense way, we will be unstoppable.

"...Most companies don't fail for lack of talent or strategic vision. They fail for lack of execution -- the routine blocking and tackling that great companies consistently do well and always strive to do better."

-- From No-Excuses Management, by T.J. Rodgers, founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor (Currency/Doubleday, 1992)

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