Thinking Thru: 'Good to Great'

From Good to Great in Business

Who’s had a chance to do some reading over the weekend?

I took the chance to finish off Good to Great, and once again it’s helped me refocus on the most important things in business. More importantly, it’s reminded me to avoid complacency. Jim Collins makes a point of telling us that ‘the good’ is the enemy of ‘the great,’ and I find every time I come back to this book, I realize that I’ve let myself become satisfied by merely being ‘good’ in some areas of my life. We all do it, falling short of greatness because good feels so, well, good – and that’s a tragedy.

But while good is quite pleasant, great feels like work, because great takes a lot of energy and discipline. All it takes is a quick scan of ‘Good to Great’ to see how much Jim Collins talks about discipline in people, thought, and action. 

We’ve talked a lot about people already, which is one of my main takeaways from this book, but we haven’t gone too deep into disciplined thought. Lots of people I talk to want to do something – they want to start a business, or write a book, or make an impact in their community. But few people are disciplined enough in their thoughts to define that ‘something.’ That’s where the hedgehog concept comes in, which is the venn diagram above. To find the ‘thing’ that you can take beyond being simply good, you have to sit down and define something you can excel at, that you are passionate about, and that will benefit you or others (Collins refers to this as driving your economic engine). Once you find that sweet spot of overlapping circles, you can move forward.

The next big step is achieving level 5 leadership. There’s a lot that goes into becoming a great leader, and I’m not going to be able to go over all of it, but it boils down to being humble and driven. Being humble and driven means you take the fault when things go wrong, pass the praise for victory onto others, and have the will and the drive to push your business (not your career) to new heights. 

Now, if you feel like that’s a lot to think thru, I completely understand  – I basically just recapped the whole book! I’ll be thinking thru this for the whole week though, and sharing my takeaways, and I hope you’ll do the same. 

Whether you’ve been reading along, or reading something entirely different, I’d love you to share with the class. ;) So, please contact me and let me know.