I have been reading Jim Collins’ latest book called Great by Choice. In it, he looks at a group of companies that have made returns ten to fifteen percent greater than their competition at least ten times over a fifteen year period.
Now one of the things we must ask when reading a book tailored for the business world is “How much of this is transferable?” How much of this can I take to my church, youth group, band or sporting team? How much of this should be just left in the business arena? These are very important questions to ask and you will have to read the book to find out how much of it is transferable to your context. But here is one thing that is universally applicable.
Collins noticed two things about the leaders who ran these companies:
- More ambitious for the company than themselves.
- They practiced maniacal discipline.
More ambitious for the company than themselves:
It is very easy to want to build your name rather than the team, company, church or band you are working with. I think we see this all the time because it is hard to be ambitious about anything but ourselves, but if we want our organisation or team or church to be successful we need to put our ambitions in the back seat which allows the goals of the organisation to remain number one.
They practiced maniacal discipline:
Everyone knows the things they need to do to be great. If you are a musician you practice, are prepared and rock up on time with great gear and a great attitude. If you are a part of a sports team you work hard in practice, are an awesome friend and teammate and work your butt off on the court. But how much of us practice the things we do with maniacal discipline? What are the 5 things that if you did everyday would make the most difference to your organisation/ church/ band/ career? If you did those things every day with maniacal discipline what would change?