The Problem with Pretty Good

constructive Sep 12, 2022

by Aubrey Patterson


Would you be willing to change your work habits to make life easier for your future self?

You'd think a quick "yes" would come from most leaders, right?

Sadly, this isn't the case.

When Good is the Enemy of Great

Most successful people have good organizational skills and productivity habits.

Herein lies the problem. Good habits get in the way of building excellent habits that could eliminate many mistakes and worries. 

Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. (Jim Collins)

Leaders sometimes dabble in hacks or embrace a new app that promises to improve their current systems. 

After all, a pretty good system gets pretty good results.

Firefighter or Fire Marshal

Even if we are pleased with the status quo, is the toll paid by putting out fires really worth it?

Impactful leaders commit to building systems that allow them to act not as firefighters, but as fire marshals. They don't settle for pretty good; they choose to spend more of their day proactively preparing rather than reactively repairing.

A good foundation can allow us to operate from a place of strength if we're open to adapting and learning new systems. 

Good doesn't need to be the enemy of great.


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