The enemy of "Great" is "Good" ...

OK, I borrowed that title from Jim Collin's book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't.


I think the fundamental principle of greatness tends to apply to people as much as it does to large groups of people a.k.a. organizations. Its so very easy to see the truth in the statement that "good" and "good enough" is the enemy to being "great".

Jim Collins goes on to state that ... "We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, precisely because it is easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of companies never become great precisely because they become quite good. - and that is their main problem."

Ditto for most people, especially in companies, to reach the point of being good and then like the proverbial hare (in the race with the tortoise) to take a break and instead of proceeding further on, decide to stay with the status-quo within their comfort zone.

I tend to agree with this quote by Jack Kerouac, who raises a toast to ... "(Here's to ) the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

Truly, the ones who are not satisfied with just being part of the clockwork and who chose to be in a constant pursuit of perfection and betterment are the ones we can count upon to take us forward (and upward).

Before signing off this post, let me throw in a very apt quote from Woodrow Wilson which tends to hit the nail squarely on the heads of those denizens of the corporate world, who are content with their daily endeavor to make a living  ... "You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand."

Lets go make a difference in whatever we are called to do. And, remember, "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success."

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Comments:

I totally agree to "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success."
At the end of the day a happy human has the capacity to perform any task :)

Posted by Kalyan Moharla on September 03, 2007 at 03:14 AM IST #

Ditto on an outstanding article. I would humbly add that those who make the decision to be great realize that they are pursuing the inner voice within, not using the status quo as a barometer. My "success" is not predicated on how or what another may achieve. I chase being the absolute best that I can be. When I do that, success and accolades chase me.

Posted by Scott on October 23, 2007 at 03:07 AM IST #

I agree with you totally. However, I just wanted to write that your cquote is not from Kerouac. It is ad copy for a Apple Computer ad put out in 1997.

Posted by L. Truman Douglas on June 25, 2008 at 12:52 PM IST #

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