DEVOTIONAL: From Good To Great to Unique

Many of us have read the classic book by Jim Collins called Good to Great which analyzes how a group of companies made the transition from being good companies to becoming great companies over a period of time.  One of the classic lines in the book is that “good can be the enemy of great”. That is, if you focus on doing things that are good in your business they might be done at the expense of doing great things in your business.

Well, I would like to up the ante and challenge you to focus on doing the things that you are uniquely called to do in your business as a senior Christian business leader that nobody else can do but you.   Have you ever stopped to consider what those things may be?  Those are things that are mission critical that you are gifted to do in your business.

In running The CEO Institute those unique things for me would include: sourcing the Guest Presenters for our monthly group meetings, meeting with prospective members to explain our value proposition, creating Divine Connections by connecting outside resources with the business needs of our Members, and meeting with the Members on a one on one basis and facilitating the monthly Faith & Business Forums.

The tasks that are not unique to my gifting that are necessary to operate The CEO Institute include accounting & bookkeeping, handling reservations for special events, attending to meeting logistics for our special events, sending out marketing announcements, and performing IT support are either delegated, outsourced, automated, eliminated or consolidated. If I spend time performing those tasks, then by definition I am not spending time on the tasks that create the most value to our Members, outside resources, our shareholders a and ultimately to God.  

Let’s spend a moment determining which of your tasks are best suited to:

A.    Delegate: these are tasks that don’t absolutely have to have your attention. There are often other people in your company who can do these tasks even better than you can if you just look around and ask for volunteers !
B.     Outsource:  Many tasks like IT support can more cost effectively be done by outside resources especially when the job is not big enough to justify a full time person on your staff. You can usually hire an outsourced resource who is more highly skilled in their discipline in comparison to a person whom you could afford to hire on your staff with the requisite skills.
C.     Eliminate:  There are tasks that you are doing today that probably don’t create real value for your customers, vendors or employees. So just because “we have always done it this way,” has nothing to do with whether that task should be done in the future. Lean Office principles dictate that if the Customer is not willing to pay for a service, why do it at all ?
D.    Consolidate:  There could be two different people in two different departments that are working on similar tasks that could be effectively merged into one person’s responsibilities.
Why aren’t we more disciplined in looking at our own activities? Mostly force of habit and that we are creatures that often don’t like to change long held practices. We get in a comfort zone and want to do the same things over and over….. while expecting our results to improve.
So let me challenge you today, what are you presently doing that really doesn’t merit the investment of your time? Have you ever made a STOP TO DO LIST? I would challenge you to look at your calendar and see what you could be rid of.
When you function in the areas of your uniqueness to your business, you will undoubtedly experience more joy and satisfaction in your job as a Company Leader, your business results will improve AND you will be fulfilling the Divine Purposes that God has for you in leading and managing your business.

                                                Discussion Questions

1.    What are the truly unique tasks that only you can do in your business?
2.    What tasks are you doing today that could be outsourced, delegated, eliminated or consolidated ?  
3.    What step will you take when you get back to the office today to start functioning more in your uniquely gifted space ?
Lane Kramer, is President of The CEO Institute, a Texas based Christian CEO Development Group best known for its ability to create Divine Connections for its Members. See