I finally got around to reading Good to Great, a book that’s been on my bookshelf for a long time. There’s a ton of great information in there and I wanted to share one thing I learned from it. The book is the result of years of studying companies that went from good to great. Meaning, they were regular companies averaging profits on par with the market standard, but eventually became great and averaged much more than the market average for years. The book shares the differences between those companies, and companies that just stayed good, or got worse, that were in the same market.
One thing they found was that the good-to-great companies all broke through at some point, beginning a steep incline in market share. But, none of them could point to one event, decision, investment, technology, or anything that produced that breakthrough. In all of their cases, they said it was years of hard work, consistency, and development. So, from the outside it looked as if they had a revolutionary breakthrough. But the truth is, it was really the result of a lot of consistent development for many years. And, for the people involved in that development, the insiders, it did not feel like a breakthrough at all, because they experienced all of the hard work for many years whereas people on the outside didn’t even notice them until they were great. Like, after the Tipping Point.
I think we all look at other successful people and organizations and want what they have, without the years of hard work. We want a better lifestyle than our parents had, 20 years before our parents had it. We want churches as big as other churches, right now. We want to be financially independent…..now. We want to be the manager, CEO, director, or whatever, 15 years before the person who currently holds that position was. We expect more, earlier.
I’m reminded of the parable of the talents – "You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things." We want the responsibility without showing faithfulness. I know I do, so it’s a good thing God knows better.