In the business book Good to Great by Jim Collins, there are three lessons or pieces of advice that are applicable to any aspect of life. These pieces of advice are: “Good is the Enemy of Great,” “First Who…Then What,” and “Confront the Brutal Facts.”
Good is the Enemy of Great
On different levels almost everyone exhibits this principal in their lives. We all tend to reach a point where we become good at something, and once that happens, our desire to keep working hard just disappears. For example, a lot of times I set up intense running regiments for myself, and the moment that I begin to see serious progress I inherently take more days off, eat less healthy foods, sleep less, etc. What I am asking of you, is that you take another look at the things in your life that are good, but not great, and see if there is any room for improvement. And in changing things around, sometimes knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do.
First Who…Then What
In the book Jim Collins used an analogy of a bus when talking about this lesson. He said that if you get the right people onto the bus, then you will always get where you need to go. But you have to decide this from the beginning, you can’t just decide who the right people are mid-journey. So if in the near future you are forming a study group, creating a band, planning a retreat, or going on a road trip, make sure you get the right people on the bus first, and it will make the actual events much easier.
Confront the Brutal Facts
Essentially, you should take hits, accept losses, learn from them, and move on. There are certain things in business and in the real world that people choose not to see because they want to remain ignorant. Doing this does not make anyone better. You may not get the grades that you always want, or the top choice of research advisor, or get into that exclusive club or organization, but you have got to address the facts face first, and assess what can be done to improve yourself.