Good to Great learning from a Hedgehog
Good to Great by learning from a Hedgehog!
September 3, 15
Many of the concepts in Good to Great and Good to Great and the Social Sectors are many that I am struggling with as a leader. It’s difficult to lead like the books say when you are in the building process and to not get a little discouraged by a lack of growth. I have just paid to get my General Contractors license activated again and I was doing an estimate today I kind of felt like oh here I go again. I have been building for at least 25 years off and on and I really want to see some success or for it to go from good to great. More than that I want to see the ministry do even greater. I feel I possess the Level 5 leadership traits. I think I am humble and I am very ambitious. But I want to be quick to realize that using the “I” is a problem according to Jim Collins. And as a leader one of the things I don’t want to do is use my power in my position to have people follow me in either the business or the church. Jim Collins says, “true leadership only exists if people follow when they have the freedom not to.” As a pastor I really am trying not to emulate many of the leaders I have been under because they intimidate people in different spiritual ways and people seem to not care. That is a real mystery to me. But I just can’t do it. Jim Collins described the Level 5 leader and that is the leader I want to be, “The whole point of level 5 is to make sure the right decisions happen-no matter how difficult or painful- for the long-term greatness of the institution and the achievement of its mission, independent of the consensus or popularity.”
Another thing I am trying to work on is my brand. Or the Hedgehog concept Jim Collins discussed. “Hedgehogs, on the other hand, simplify a complex world into a single organizing idea, the basic principle or concept that unifies and guides everything.” This concept completely describes the thesis statement we were working on. I am battling with just nailing down a basic organizing idea that is clear and can guide my church as well as business. I know how important that this is for any church or organization. I feel I am on my way but it is not as simple as the Hedgehogs defense against the fox. But I get the point.
Yet Jim Collins encouraged me a lot. I know that many of the answers to leadership are forth coming and there is no need to utilize quantitative measurements. Because no matter what you have achieved, you will always be merely good relative to what you can become. Greatness is an inherently dynamic process, not an end point.”
I have to realize you grow in greatness and it is never a real end to it. This encouraged me because I want to do my best in every thing that I do. And as a leader I want to be in that positions to always do greater for the good of those I serve. This is what drives me because I know you cant blame anyone else when the buck stops at you
 Jim Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great (Boulder, Colo.?, 2005), 13.
 Ibid., 11.
 Jim Collins, Good to Great (New York, NY: Harpers Collins Publishers Inc., 2001), 91.
 Jim Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great (Boulder, Colo.?, 2005), 9.
14 responses to “Good to Great learning from a Hedgehog”
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Loved reading this Travis. I really enjoy hearing about your passion and ambition.
You started by saying, “It’s difficult to lead like the books say when you are in the building process and to not get a little discouraged by a lack of growth.” That’s so true but that’s the discouragement/doubt that creeps into our minds. I love how you ended by saying, “I have to realize you grow in greatness and it is never a real end to it. This encouraged me because I want to do my best in every thing that I do.” We so often want to just skip to the end but what I see in you is someone working hard and setting the foundation to something great!
Nick (and Travis), do you see some of the flywheel principal at work in Travis’ life as well? It is the diligent pressing on the handle, moving the wheel, one inch at a time until it begins to gain momentum… it’s NOT measured overnight, it’s measured in terms of years! But given enough and patience, the flywheel begins to move itself by its own weight…
That’s what I see in Travis’ life and ministry… Hand to the plough!
Praise the Lord Jon. And i praise God for you saying this because little by little its working. I really enjoyed the reading of everyone this week it is so refreshing to be around leaders like yourself with such a vast array of knowledge and insight wow!
God bless you Nick and thanks brother i see that same in you as brother!
Travis, I really appreciate your sense of drive. The ambition to always be learning, improving, becoming the man of God that can lead both a business and a church. Becoming not simply what was modeled for you – but better. It takes courage to try to bring discernment into your everyday context. Very inspiring. Keep at it brother.
Thank you Dave. I am at a great pivotal point in my life and so much has happened over a year. I doing what the Bible says now and that is, “to make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil” Blessings!
Travis, I agree with your self-evalutaion. “I think I am humble and I am very ambitious.” From what I know of you, I have seen a personal humility and a professional will. I think something about being in this program kind of helps all of us to be more of Level 5 leaders. The class definitely humbles us and it makes us grow in our strength of will to complete the work and program. Hang in there man. Praying for you. Keep persevering!!!
Thank you Phil,
I know that i have changed a lot this year. Losing my father and learning this year has made do a lot of inward reflection and I like that. I have a sense that God is working something out on the inside of me and that’s important! Blessing my brother!
Excellent post! Leadership development is a processes. One doesn’t attain level 5 leadership overnight. Self-assessment is something that leaders do on a continuous basis. Motivating an organization or church to move in a positive direction certainly takes the flywheel approach. It also takes hard work, a willingness to be unpopular at times, a continuous acquisition of new skills, and it rarely can be accomplished alone.
Amen Dawnel, and trust me at this point in my life im good with all the time the Lord wants to take with me. I dont want to hurt one soul and sometimes when people are in a rush to be develop thats exactly what happens. Glad to be where i am and just enjoying the music on the way! Blessings my Sister!
“true leadership only exists if people follow when they have the freedom not to.”
I love this quote. We cannot rely on positions to determine our leadership. Being in the right position will never make us a great leader and vice-versa, we cannot blame lack of leadership on not being in the right position.
I was also intrigued with your statement, “many of the leaders I have been under… intimidate people in different spiritual ways and people seem to not care.” It seams that many people do not recognize great leadership when they see it. Collins spoke often of the propensity of companies to hire level 4 leaders because they exhibited strong, intimidating, and self-serving personalities. It was only after looking back in hindsight that the level 4 leaders were seen to come up short.
So true Brian how level 4 leaders come up short by being intimidating in some fashion. I love the leadership of Jesus Christ who being in very nature God did not considered equality with God something to grasp but he humbled himself even to dying on the cross. And he was God in the flesh! And God can be do that and rule the world and universe we should be able too!
You are expressing some significant self-awareness and self-reflection, Travis, as you write in reference to Collins’ books. One of the key components to “great” leadership is that first step of simply acknowledging who we are – good, bad, and the ugly. Then along the way, we express the longings that drive us to the place of seeking with our whole selves – the heart, will, and mind – all of which you express so honestly.
Thank you for the window into your soul.
Mary you are so right we have to acknowledge the good, the bad and the ugly. I used the exact terms last Sunday preaching at this church. And finish the sermonette off by saying “all things work together for the good to them that love God and are the called according to his purpose i.e. the good, the bad, and the ugly. Blessings Mary!