“Good is the enemy of great.” If you have read the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, you know what I am referring to. If you have not read the book, go get it today! I believe it is a blueprint for any organization that wants to go to the next level, and every business professional should read it.
Today, it seems like it is hard to find people who desire to become “great”. What I mean by that is the idea of pursuing excellence, which has become somewhat of an elusive concept these days. Think of all the corruption and scandals that have and continue to take place all around us. People have become increasingly apathetic about having standards such as integrity, work ethic, and excellence. Why is this?
First, becoming great, or excellent, is a constant pursuit that requires discipline and hard work. Naturally, most people are not willing to engage in this pursuit and instead take the easy way out. Human nature often causes this. If it were easy to be excellent, then everyone would be!
Second, people are often afraid to fail and take risks in business and in life. Therefore, they settle for mediocre instead of attempting to achieve something great. Think of the great and enduring companies that exist—Disney, Boeing, IBM, Procter & Gamble, to name a few. All of them took huge risks in order to achieve greatness, but they did so out of an attitude of excellence, of striving to be the best. You may not always get to the top, but pursuing such a goal makes a huge difference and leads you to do things you never thought possible.
Lastly, people and companies do not often seek excellence because it is not one of their core values. In order for excellence to be pursued, a person must believe in it, and they must embrace it as something worth pursuing. Companies that want to strive for excellence should consider adopting it as a core value that they instill in the organizational culture. Only then can it be a habit that is formed and carried out by employees on a daily basis.
Where are you on this journey toward excellence? On the bus and headed in the right direction? Or have you not even boarded yet? It’s up to you…you’re in control.