In his best-selling book, “Good to Great”, Jim Collins states, “Good is the enemy of great.” He explains, “We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great governments principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”
I invite you to raise the bar, to believe that good is not good enough, to aim to be the greatest you can be.
When I encourage you to strive for greatness, am I suggesting that you can do anything you put your mind to? Anything at all?
Many Hollywood movies and some life coaches try to get us to believe the misguided maxim: Anything is possible if you just believe hard enough.” But this simply isn’t true.
Consider the story of Rudy Ruettiger, a 23 year-old groundskeeper at Notre Dame University, who was the protagonist in the 1993 movie Rudy. Tom Rath retells Ruettiger’s story, explaining how Rudy didn’t posses the physical ability to play big-time football or the education to get admitted to Notre Dame, but he had ample heart. It took him three tries to get accepted into the University and then two years of practicing before he was invited to suit up and join his team for the final game of his senior year. In the final moments of the game, he was given the chance to play – and he tackled the opposing team’s quarterback. It was a winning moment and Rudy became an instant hero.
So what do you think? In his attempts to get accepted at Notre Dame and to make the university football team, did Rudy make wise use of his gifts and abilities?
We all have strengths, but we also have limitations. It doesn’t make sense to strive for greatness in an area that is not a strength for us. Rather, it makes more sense to recognize your natural strengths – often done by completing a temperament survey – and then capitalize on those areas where you have greatest natural abilities. Of course, temperament is not the only place where you have strength, but it is a good place to start.
Acknowledge and enjoy what you’re good at.
Discover and deliver what you can be great at!