Small business owners are struggling with a lot these days, COVID-19 health fears, correctly applying for and spending stimulus funds, regulatory limits on business, erratic supply chains, and protecting employees (and customers) in the workplace.  Stacked upon that is the need to reinvent or pivot their businesses for the future economy.  With all the pressure of change, I thought it would be helpful to recall the things that should not change.

It has been almost 20 years since one of my favorite business books, Good to Great by Jim Collins, was published.  In the book, Collins describes the common traits he and his research team found in companies that outperformed their peers.  The valuable lessons he revealed are still revered and true today.  While externals may change, these ideas do not.

The key takeaways from Good to Great is purpose and discipline. To go from a good organization to a great one, you need to know your purpose, get everyone on the same page, and have the discipline in thought, and action.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

When I first read Good to Great, a few corollaries occurred to me that I thought would be helpful to share now, especially with so many companies seeking to change, reinvent, or pivot.  Here are my corollaries.

  • Your Purpose Is The WHY. WHY very seldom changes.  Change usually occurs in the HOW we do business and the WHAT we do in business.
  • Don’t Count On A “Killer Idea” For Success. “Killer Ideas” only occur infrequently, and as a result, only a few companies get them.  The odds are against you.  And more important…
  • If You Can’t Execute, A “Killer Idea” Won’t Help You. All ideas require strong execution to bear fruit.  If you can’t execute well, a “killer idea” won’t do better than a good idea.  And may even do worse.
  • Execution Is A Consistent Indicator Of Success. Strong execution can cause good ideas to perform like great ones.  The quality of execution is a factor you can determine.

In times of crisis it is vital to recall fundamental truths and the lessons of the past.   If you are interested in hearing more, we’ll be speaking about this in my next webinar.  Leading During Crisis, discusses the responsibilities of leadership, ways to identify opportunities during the pandemic, and the actions you can take to respond.  The webinar is FREE and being held next Wednesday the 27th at 9 am CST.  Click here to register.


“A good plan, violently executed now
is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.”

– George Patton




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