It occurred to me as I was reading the book, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, that the process of becoming great that the 11 companies utilitzed is precisely the same process that great individuals have used, only applied to an organization, or a better word might be “organism”.
Look at Tiger Woods. He is obviously a very talented person capable of doing great things with a golf ball. But he and most analysts attribute his success to two things.
First, he is mentally tough and extreeeeeemly focussed. And second, he wants to be the best and he’s not ashamed of that. He’s not seeking fame, in fact his interviews about that subject prove other wise, as that is the part “he puts up with.” He doesn’t just want to be the very best golfer he can be, either. He wants to be the very best, at what he does.
This idea of wanting to be the very best at something, is at the core of the transformation process. What the 11 companies cited in the study accomplished, was to take Tiger’s attitude (and he is just one example) and apply it organizationally.
It’s much easier for an individual to make this leap, and common sense just proves that. For an organization (of many people) to accomplish this requires much greater understanding and more importantly committment.
But the rewards are great.
The easiest one to grasp is the financial reward. These 11 companies out-performed the stock market for 15 consecutive years. (But that was NOT their goal.)
But even more, there is the reward of JOY. When greatness is achieved there occurs a type of JOY which I define as a sense of “wonder”, or euphoria, a “no greater than” sense of accomplishment, that is humbling.
Great athletes call it being in the “zone”. The great Bill Russell of Boston Celtics fame (six championships in a row) said that when they played truly great basketball, it was like it was happening in slow motion.
The New Enghland Patriots have won 3 Super Bowls in the last four years, because they seek to be the very best at what they do. The Super Bowl is merely the measure they use.
Think about this for your organization. And think about a world where being “major-league” is commonplace.
It makes me shiver.