If you have never read the book Good To Great, go get yourself a copy. This is actually one of the books I finished reading last year, and that’s mainly due to the fact that it’s a great read.
I brought my copy of Good To Great to work today. No, I’m not trying to show off to the higher ups, I actually needed to prepare for a meeting that I’m leading. The subject of the meeting is greatness and why people desire it. Don’t ask me why I’m leading a meeting about this, it’s kind of complicated. But the first thing I thought of concerning that concept of greatness was this book. As I said, you need to get yourself a copy, but the main thrust of the book is why their are some companies that become great and then there are companies that are just good. The writer Jim Collins and his team of researchers use very specific guidelines (almost mathematical at times) to separate the good companies from the great ones. Even for someone who isn’t thinking about business or really cares, the book doesn’t go above your head. It actually spends a lot of time focusing on the people and not just their companies. That’s why the book stands out to me so much. Chapters 2 and 3 are called “Level 5 Leadership” and “First Who…Then What”. They basically outline the kind of people that companies need to be pursuing and putting into leadership, while giving examples of great companies and the people who work or worked there.
I’m realizing more and more that greatness isn’t so much about what I can do, but who I am. This is especially true for Christians, but our character defines who we are, whether good or great. In Good To Great, they explain how the majority of the president’s of the “great” companies never took credit for what they accomplished. In fact, the interviews with the men who led those companies revealed that more often than not they took no credit at all. They were consistently humble people, even after they were long gone from their companies. This is how the Bible describes the Christian’s character as well. I am to be a humble man before a holy God. Greatness for me isn’t defined so much by what I do for God, but who I am before Him.
These are just things I am learning and trying to understand. I don’t have the market on greatness, especially when it comes to being humble, but each and every day is an opportunity for me to exercise it’s characteristics. I’ve probably heard dozens of sermons in my lifetime that have had a sentence that started with, “Do you want to be great for the kingdom of God? Then _______ (fill in the blank).” Unfortunately I can’t remember what the blanks were, that’s probably why I’m having to learn it all over again.