Good vs Great

What makes the difference?

Jim Collins and his team are probably the expert authorities on this subject and they know how to make the switch. They know what takes you from being good and being average really and being great, and what it takes to get there. I’m reading his book right now, which is probably what spurred this thought and idea. So thanks Jim.

There is a difference between good and great and it’s more often than not readily apparent. The great ones are the ones who make bold bets, seem to perform with near flawlessness, recover quickly from mistakes or losses, and are super optimistic. The great ones at times seem only to be a little bit ahead, but upon further investigation you realize that they are head and shoulders above their competition.

The great ones are humble and don’t let their ego get in the way of their vision and purpose. They work and function with fluidity as a team or well oiled machine.

The good ones are basically all the same things, but just not as polished and are missing that indescribable factor, but you know what I mean, right?

Greatness, like almost any characteristic, especially within an organization is a cultural desire and design that forms over time. It’s not something you pictured yesterday and achieve tomorrow, rather it is an idea conceived and held to a standard many consecutive times until it is ingrained in all who participate in that organization.

I have long been a lover of Soccer or Futbol if you will. I played since I was 3 years old. The single most important factor of a successful soccer team in my experience was the ability to single in on a vision as a team and have every player working their guts out to achieve that goal. If we weren’t aligned and all helping each other out for the big picture goal, (pun intended), we most certainly were not going to achieve that.

Some of years where I thought my team had the most average-est players where the years we succeeded the most, overcame our pride and ego, and worked together. It has taught me more about unity and teamwork and goals and vision and purpose than nearly anything else in my life.

Yet, I am often still selfish and forget those valuable lessons. There is never a time that focusing on your individuality will achieve more than focusing on your team. Jim Collins talks about getting the right people on the bus, and how the most important thing is hiring the right people and everything else will fall into place.

In developing this idea in my mind, I’m reminded of the recent Jungle Book movie in which the wolf pack chants in unison their motto:

“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” 
Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

It’s a bit of a cheesy scene in a sense, but they do make a good point. The reason they are able to maintain themselves is due to their unity, for anyone of them on their own wouldn’t be able to survive, but together they are able to progress and provide protection one for another.

It would be hard to pinpoint the exact thing that makes someone or some organization great vs good, but it is a myriad of actions, culture decisions and ideas that make it happen. Anyone who achieves greatness, certainly didn’t accomplish it all on their own.