Good is “fool’s gold” in business! It is the week before the Super Bowl, so I am being bombarded with feel-good stories on players and coaches for this week’s game. What is not getting attention is how these two teams got to the Super Bowl. Both team’s coaches, at a pivotal points in the season, chose to be great and not settle for just being good. I watched the Baltimore Ravens lose to my beloved Redskins in overtime as a good team but not a great team. San Francisco, too, was a good team but after a couple of losses, their coach knew they were not great.
Jim Collins in his now legendary book Good To Great, punctuates the importance of seeking to be great with this famous quote: “Good is the Enemy of Great.”
Baltimore let go of their offensive coordinator late in the season to give the play-calling duties to Jim Caldwell—a rare and unheard of move. San Francisco benched their quarterback who was 3rd in the NFL in passer rating but lacked the X Factor. Why did these coaches take these risks? Each knew he had a good team—a play-off teambut not a great team defined as a Super Bowl Championship Team.
Does your business settle for good but not great? Are their changes you know need to be made but would be uncomfortable to actually make? Letting go of an offensive coordinator who was your close friend and on your staff for years was uncomfortable for Ravens coach, John Harbaugh, but he wanted GREAT. His brother Jim, who coaches the 49ers had a veteran quarterback, who though sufficient, could not do the exceptional.
TAKEAWAY: Do not settle for good.