What does it mean to do things “with rigor?” – SCN Encourager

Do you think rigor means blood, sweat, and tears?

I used to.

I don’t anymore.

Seth GodinHere’s what marketing master Seth Godin said about it.

“Doing things with rigor takes effort, but not everything you put effort into is done with rigor.

Rigor is a focus on process. Paying attention to not just how you do things, but why. Rigor requires us to never use an emergency as an excuse. It is a process for the long haul, the work of a professional.”


We toss out the word “rigor” plenty of times in our work, don’t we?

But I wonder if we actually have something like Godin’s definition in mind.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t.

I never thought of rigor as a process, grounded in a close attention to detail, and an awareness of the “why” behind the”how.”

And I definitely didn’t accord it any “long term” consideration, nor as “evidence” of the quality of a professional’s work.

I thought rigor was an expectation we directed toward our teachers, students, and curriculum.

Not us!

But you’ve got to hand it to Godin for giving us a definition of rigor that has meaning and shape.

It’s on target.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop using emergencies as an excuse, though.

Some habits are just too hard to break.

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