Monday, August 22, 2016

To Be Great, Stop Being Good

There will always be more good ideas than energy to execute.

Earlier this month at the Global Leadership Summit, one of the superstar presenters was Chris McChesney. He’s the author of The 4 Disciplines of Execution. He was funny, engaging, and he continually dropped value-bombs—big nuggets of leadership gold! When he used the quote above at the Leadership Summit, he combined two huge leadership principles:

1.     The good is the enemy of the great. (from Good to Great).

2.     The best leaders don’t manage their time; they manage their energy. (from The Power of Full Engagement).

For years I’ve said it this way, “If you spend all your time working on very good things in life, you’ll never have the energy to do the best things.” But Chris McChesney said it much better: “Narrowing your focus is so hard because you are saying no to good ideas. There will always be more good ideas than there is energy to execute.”

Friends, it’s true! Nothing great happens without you make the choice to climb the uphill path, maintaining laser-like focus until you achieve your goal.

I hope you are sitting down for this next truth straight from Jim Collins:

“Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life”

Wow. That’s going to be hard to hear for many people, but you are members of the LeaderTribe so I’m not going to shy away from the personal application: Are you settling for good in a sphere of your life when you need to be great?

Heaven knows that we can’t be great in everything, and we shouldn’t even try—we’ll waste too much energy. But, maybe there are a few priority areas that have slipped to good… or mediocre (possibly your marriage, your health, or maybe your team leadership). Let’s strive for greatness in the important areas. Is there an area where you need to up your game?

To get back on the right path to greatness, I’m asking you to only implement one of the four disciplines from Chris’ book: Settle on your WIG! (It’s a Wildly Important Goal!)

Don’t choose more than ONE WIG at a time (and don’t have a million bullet points to achieve your WIG). As a matter of fact, identify just two or three bullet points that are absolutely essential to accomplishing your goal.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Good is the enemy of the best. Everyone has a finite amount of the leadership energy, so choose your WIG wisely. Figure out the minimum needed to accomplish it, then get after it with all of your might! What’s your WIG?


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