Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Quality. Quality. Quality. – from ZMM – Motorcycle Mondays begins

Quality from ZMM


This is the second Motorcycle Mondays series that I began last week. As the author of the book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, describes his masterpiece, he says it is both a book about people and a book about ideas combined into one book.   I wish to share some of the ideas he discusses and what they mean to me.


(Whoa! if you’ve read the book, you are probably saying “wow, I can’t believe he’d start with that one right out of the gate!” Don’t worry, I will in no way pretend to do this topic justice. But at least an effort to begin sharing the ideas is worth the attempt.)

Can you define quality?  What is it? What does it look like? What does it mean?  Sure, you can tell the difference between something that has quality and something that does not. The chair you are sitting in right now. Hopefully it is a quality chair.   Ok, sure but would everyone think it is a quality chair? What kind of chair do you think that wealthy goofball Donald Trump sits in?

Would he think your chair is a quality chair?

So let’s say you do think it is a quality chair but the Donald does not. So where does quality come from? Does that mean that quality is in the eye of the beholder? Is it completely subjective?   Well, you would probably agree with Donald that his chair has more quality, wouldn’t you?

Then quality is relative…? Some things have more quality than others.  I can go with that. But still, is it really that measurable. What if you’ve never seen a chair before in your life. What if you don’t know what a chair is, much less the difference between a quality chair and a “non-quality” chair. Does the Donald’s chair still have more quality than your chair in that case?

I admit, this is a little bit of “tree falls in the forest” line of questioning. But to follow this rabbit hole of questions on this particular topic is of incredible importance to me. And it probably would be to everyone else too if they took some time to sit still and think about it.

What does quality really mean to you?

Here is how I apply this question without an answer in my life.

What makes a quality person?

We know it when we see it.   Perhaps a quality person is one whose legacy is meaningful. Perhaps a quality person has a quiet mind. Or maybe a quality person is one who is aggressively generous in every way.

To me, a quality person is the kind I want to be around. It’s the kind of person I want to learn from. It’s the kind I want to help because helping them will benefit me. A quality person has balance, has gumption, and is resourceful. A quality person is spiritual in one way or another, and is intentional about their life. They are intentional about the people in their life. They are intentional about their community, their health, their family.  They are even intentional about their appearance, their emotional self-awareness, and their presence in conversations, in groups, in companies, in social settings.

The extent to which I could attempt a comprehensive description of a quality person is endless. And far beyond a blog post appropriate length (which I admit, by the way, have been getting longer and longer, and for that I apologize).

I can’t describe a quality person, but here is what I do know. The world is more pleasant for each of us with more quality people in the world.  My mission and my vision is now that I can help the world create, connect, and grow more quality people.  It all begins with energy, the subject on which I write.

Have a quality Monday!



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