Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
January 14th, 2015

Good is the Enemy of Great

This week, I wanted to share a concept that I learned from Jim Collins in his terrific book Good to Great. The idea is that many businesses get to a point where things are going pretty well and they begin to settle at that level. Precisely because things are “good,” they stop pushing themselves and never reach the level of being a “great” company. Hopefully now the title of my blog makes more sense.

With this in mind, I wanted to suggest three things that you can do to avoid settling for having a “good” company and continue to push forward to having a “great” one!

  1. Formalize a Business Plan – Take time to think about your business and determine where you would like to be in one, three and five years. Dream big! Ask yourself what your dream company would look like without getting bogged down with all the reasons it can’t happen. Then, spend the time to build a plan that brings this dream into reality while addressing the challenges that are particular to your business. The mere act of going through this process and pushing yourself to dream bigger will help you avoid being lazy keep you pushing for new heights.
  2. Step Out in Faith – There may be something you want to do, but have been hesitant and waiting for the right time. Maybe it’s bringing on another staff member or expanding the products/services you offer. Stop thinking about it and take the steps to make it happen! When you step outside of your comfort zone, you will work harder to make that decision a successful one. You might be hesitant because you are comfortable with the status quo and things are going ok and there is risk in trying something new. Why add something else into the equation? You’re right! You don’t need to add anything new. You may be fine continuing to do things exactly how you’re doing them today. However, if you are not satisfied with where you are and you want things to be better, you have to be willing to take the first step. Remember, if you ever want to have a “great” company, you must fight the urge to settle for a “good” company.
  3. Don’t Stop Learning – We all fall into this trap. We have been doing the same thing for a while and feel pretty confident in our skills or knowledge on the subject so stop doing all the things that helped us get proficient or knowledgeable in the first place. Maybe when you started the business you read business books to give you good ideas. You may have watched videos or asked questions in groups to increase your industry knowledge. It’s possible you even took some training classes from a manufacturer or distributor to hone your skills. Now you feel that you have it down and you do not need those things any longer. I would encourage you to consider doing some of those things again. It will stimulate your brain and help you look at things from a new perspective. That one idea that may vault you from good to great.

I hope some of these ideas cause you to think about where your business is and where you want it to be. What are you going to do to get there? How willing are you to do those things? Are you going to settle for good, or are you going to be one of the few that becomes great?

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