blog from the ceo & superbarista of phoenix coffee, home of the best baristas in cleveland, ohio

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Good is the enemy of Great

This is the first line of Jim Collin's book Good to Great which I have found to be a fascinating read. I read it for the first time about two years ago and lately I have turned back to it for guidance and reminders. Here's the first paragraph:

"Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons that we have so little that becomes great. 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, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of companies never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good - and that is their main problem."

Greatness requires getting out of your comfort zone, because goodness is its own comfort zone. I am having a challenging week full of some tough decisions. In the face of uncertainty and unknown, it is difficult to remain confident and clear. But as I sit here at my kitchen table, at 3:30 AM because I can't sleep, empty bowl of cereal at my elbow, I know I have to just reach down inside myself to that place that knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will find a way to get Phoenix Coffee to the next level. No one else can tell me that. I just have to know. I look around me at the intelligent, creative people that I work with, who are willing to challenge themselves and to grow. I am pushing myself to do what I think is right for the company, in an increasingly rigorous manner. And, on some evenings, it doesn't make for good sleeping. But knowing that I haven't settled for doing things just any old way, and that I am willing to do whatever it takes to get this company closer to our particular manifestation of greatness, that makes it all worthwhile.


Post a Comment

<< Home