Friday, August 31, 2018

Good Is The Enemy Of Great

I’ve been reading this book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. It’s about research that was done to determine if there were factors that made companies go from good to great. The book is obviously about how companies go from good to great, but all the same characteristics that these example companies have are applicable individually.

Of the few resounding traits that great companies possessed, one of them was the idea come to be known as the Hedgehog Concept. That is, “a simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of the following three circles” that ask / answer the following questions:

  • What can you be the best in the world at (and equally important, what can you not be the best at)?
  • What drives your economic engine? 
  • What are you deeply passionate about? 

Consider this excerpt:
Suppose you were able to construct a work life that meets the following three tests. First, you are doing work for which you have a genetic or God-given talent, and perhaps you could become one of the best in the world in applying that talent. (“I feel that I was just born to be doing this.”) Second, you are well paid for what you do. (“I get paid to do this? Am I dreaming?”) Third, you are doing work you are passionate about and absolutely love to do, enjoying the actual process for its own sake. (“I look forward to getting up and throwing myself into my daily work, and I really believe in what I’m doing.”) If you could drive toward the intersection of these three circles and translate that intersection into a simple, crystalline concept that guided your life choices, then you’d have a Hedgehog Concept for yourself. 

I reflected on myself and thought, “I have always been good… but will I ever be great?”

Currently, I have 2 possible options in front of me for work if both paths continue to unfold. I’ve recently interviewed at a company (let’s call it “L” for now) for a Tax Manager position. It’s my line of work. I’ve done it for 13 years. It’s my background, and I’m comfortable continuing my career earning a very good salary. I hope to be given an offer to join the company soon.

On the other hand, I was recently introduced to a Community Director here in Houston (at a place we’ll call “WW” for now) by a great friend. WW is looking to open a location close to home in the very near future and are looking for a Community Manager to run the operations. The job is very entrepreneurial and runs the gamut of hiring, firing, making decisions, earning revenue, spending to run the day-to-day, and everything in between. It’s the type of work that I’ve always dreamed about. I always wanted to run my own business, and this is kind of like that opportunity but with the backing of an established organization, so I wouldn’t be going at it alone.

I could continue to be good at something, a career that I started over 13 years ago. Or, I could try something new, love it, and live it.

Is this the breakthrough that my life was looking for? Is this the tipping point where I go from good to great?