Great vs. Good – Part 1

The origin of leadership is often debated in terms of whether leaders are born or developed. The most neutral response is to say that it’s both – some leaders are born and some are developed. On the surface, I can agree with this assertion; however, saying that it’s both often doesn’t challenge us to think deeply enough in terms of what it really takes to become a leader.

I’m going to shift this discussion from leadership to greatness and take a non-neutral stance in terms of whether certain people are born great or whether greatness is developed. First, I want to give you my definition of greatness. I see greatness as a person maximizing their potential by fully engaging their talents, time, and resources in ways that fulfill the purpose for which they were created in order to positively impact society. I know this may seem a little “pie in the sky”, but there are people that are living like this every day.

In my opinion, we all possess the potential for greatness inside of us. It’s just in an undeveloped seed form. Just like a flower or a tree, in order for that greatness to come out of us, we must have the right environment to nurture and cultivate that seed. The right environment for greatness includes: love, opportunities, challenges, hardships, difficulty, encouragement, faith, perseverance, integrity, and treating others right, among other things. Even with all of these things in play, the “environmental mix” for one person to become great could be totally different than what it will take for another person to become great. There is no magic formula for greatness. Furthermore, greatness, like leadership, is more learned than taught.

In many ways, greatness is also a choice. “Good is the enemy of great” is the quote made famous in the book by Jim Collins, “Good to Great.” He explains that the great performances which certain companies demonstrate over a long period of time is a direct result of certain strategic choices that they make in comparison to the poor decisions made by their key competitors. Likewise, for people to fully come into their greatness, they have to make strategic choices based on their environment and the opportunities presented to them. Each of us has no choice but to play the cards we are dealt. Our greatness depends on how we play those cards.

How does this relate to entrepreneurs? I’m glad you asked. The same question of “born versus developed” is also asked of entrepreneurs (read Fortune Small Business, “Nature vs. Nurture”). I believe entrepreneurs are born with a seed of greatness inside of them. It just needs to be nurtured in the right ways. Interestingly, the nature of entrepreneurship is an environment that often pushes us to maximize our talents, time, and resources in creative, resourceful ways that others are not. Fortunately, when we respond to this environment in the right ways, we will have success in business and in life. This also ensures that what we produce from our lives is something that’s worth reproducing.

Check back soon for Part 2. I will dive deeper into that last point.


Achieve greatness today by positively impacting someone else’s life!

Tags: , leadership, success, fulfillment


About Paul Wilson Jr.
Paul Wilson, Jr. is a "Dream Catalyst" and Marketplace Pastor for leaders and entrepreneurs. He is driven to lead people to unleash God’s potential in their lives through their purpose, passions, and professional skills. He equips leaders with creative, faith-based strategies to flourish spiritually and professionally, while operating from several multi-media platforms, including TV show host, inspirational speaker, and stimulating writer. Paul is the President of Kingdom Business University, which utilizes workshops, consulting, and coaching services to ignite Christian catalysts maximize their God-given mission in the marketplace. He is the author of the life purpose igniter “Dream B.I.G. in 3D: How to Pursue a Bold, Innovative God-Inspired Life!” He is also the host of Passion in Action, a motivational and educational faith-based Internet TV show for social entrepreneurs, business leaders, and community change agents. Contact us today to learn more about how he can help your business, church, or community to thrive on purpose!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: