“Greatness is ultimately only extreme success.” Those words from my blog last week have stayed with me, perhaps because they make greatness less abstract and unattainable. Today I would like to explore this a little further.
Success is intrinsically the achievement of a purpose. This makes it naturally subjective. We all define it, strive for it and assess it differently, according to our own aspirations, abilities and actions. Thus, while any success can be great, you could say, at a higher level, that ‘greatness’ is more likely associated with an achievement of a purpose aspired to, or recognised by, many people. The more people that recognise the achievement the ‘greater’ it appears.
This is certainly true of organisational success. It reinforces Todd Duncan’s statement that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” After all an organisation is a collection of people, and thus, by definition, should define a common purpose for all the people who make up the organisation. Yet can you honestly say that everyone in your organisation is working for a common purpose?