How Greatness Happens

When you think about the word greatness, what does it mean to you? Where does your mind go first? Do you think about what makes a person great? Do you think about what it means to be great at what you do professionally? Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word greatness is,...

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When you think about the word greatness, what does it mean to you? Where does your mind go first? Do you think about what makes a person great? Do you think about what it means to be great at what you do professionally?

Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word greatness is, “the quality or state of being great (as in size, skill, achievement, or power).”

You can be the most talented person in the world, but without work you will never be the greatest or the best. The tallest person doesn’t always make the best basketball player. The strongest person isn’t always the best football player. The smartest person isn’t always the best chess player. Without practice, work and repetition, it’s tough to be at the top of the field you are competing in.

To be great, you have to put in the work it takes to be successful. Talent can only take you so far. If you work hard, however, you increase your chances to be great at something.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers,” the author explains that reaching the “10,000-Hour Rule” is key in being successful. To reach that number, a person would need to practice a specific task for 20 hours weekly for 10 years. Reaching this mark doesn’t guarantee success, but it certainly improves your odds of being great at what you do.

Long before the boys from Liverpool, England made it big in the United States, the Beatles could be found playing dive bars where nobody knew they were witnessing the start of one of the most successful bands in music history.

The Beatles hit the 10,000-hour mark and kept playing. I highly doubt they were counting the hours, ready to announce their arrival once they reached 10,000 hours. They were focused on getting better and gaining a following that allowed them to make a living doing what they loved.

Reaching greatness doesn’t come without obstacles and challenges. If you give up when this happens, you can’t be great. Winners figure out how to overcome hurdles in business and life.

American writer Elbert Hubbard said, “There is no failure except in no longer trying.”

Those who dare to be great believe so strongly in what they are doing that they don’t let failure stop them. Their reaction to failure is what separates them from average or good performers.

“Those who dare to be great believe so strongly in what they are doing that they don’t let failure stop them. Their reaction to failure is what separates them from average or good performers.”

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team before he won six NBA titles.

Walt Disney was told by a newspaper editor that he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.

Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four, didn’t read until he was seven and was deemed mentally handicapped.

Author J.K. Rowling was broke, depressed, divorced and a single mother before she gave us “Harry Potter.”

What do these people have in common? They didn’t quit. They continued going after what they wanted. When you are passionate about what you are doing, you are less likely to give up or quit. Successful people don’t settle for where they are right now. They push and strive for what they can be down the road once they have gone through the journey or the process. That’s how you achieve greatness. If you can go through the pain of rejection, failure and disappointment, you will eventually be rewarded.

Greatness comes with helping people around you and also being open to accepting help too. Nobody gets to the top without some help. To get to the top, you also have to help others. Greatness comes with collaboration, hard work and determination. Greatness and success are not reached via a solo mission. Behind every great person, there is a team of people that helped pave the road to success. Those who reach greatness had family, coaches, friends and even enemies that helped push them to the top. Greatness is reached only after being told no, suffering setbacks, enduring failures and tackling self-doubt in our own mind.

“Greatness comes with helping people around you and also being open to accepting help too. Nobody gets to the top without some help. To get to the top, you also have to help others.”

Take a minute to think about how you have reached the point where you are in your life. Who helped you the most? Do you still seek counsel from these people if possible? If you don’t, should you? Who can you talk to today that can help you reach the next level in what you are working on? Don’t be afraid to ask for help or coaching! You might be surprised by how many people want to be asked for help.

Are you the leader of a team? Are you part of a team? Successful teams that win typically have a culture that embraces greatness. Leaders know the power culture plays in becoming great. The right culture can be the deciding factor in going from good to great. When you get people doing the right things, you can move the needle to greatness. It starts with behavior, habits and work ethic. Having the right attitude is another key factor in greatness.

When the culture on your team is right, it is amazing how the team can perform. When the culture is bad, the ceiling gets lower and lower without warning. If your team is chasing greatness, the mindset of the team is better. The little setbacks don’t cripple the work you are trying to do when greatness is the goal. Your mindset and expectation should always be to win and improve. When greatness is the goal, you don’t sweat the small stuff. When greatness is the expectation, challenges can become more fun to you.

Do you expect excellence from yourself and others?

This involves people making a commitment to doing their best daily. Excellence can be painful. It often comes with making changes on a number of levels. It takes the right people that fit your vision. It takes being open to giving and taking coaching. It takes work and practice. It takes patience. Here’s a tough one: it takes time!

“Excellence can be painful. It often comes with making changes on a number of levels. It takes the right people that fit your vision. It takes being open to giving and taking coaching. It takes work and practice. It takes patience.”

Greatness requires drowning out all the noise to get the job done even when it doesn’t look possible. Kill negativity with productivity. That’s how you set yourself up for greatness daily. Prepare, perform, work hard and keep doing it daily. Greatness comes through doing the right things repeatedly and habitually. Celebrate successes and wins with your team. Doing that helps moral stay positive. Focus on what you can do. Ignore what you can’t do.

Another key to reach greatness is communication. You cannot overcommunicate. It’s not possible. Emails, texts, phone calls, conversations, leaderboards, vision boards, etc. It’s all important in terms of making sure the goal is clear in your world. It all helps engagement with people. We all communicate differently so spreading the word through different media is important.

I hope some of my thoughts have helped you. I appreciate you taking the time to read this blog, and I hope you continue reading my blogs and leaving comments. I would love for you to share this content with other people.

Keep striving for greatness. I believe in you. I know with hard work that you can hit that goal you have for yourself or your team. Keep pushing to get things done. Don’t quit. You can do it!

3 comments
  1. Hannah Davenport
    Hannah Davenport
    November 4, 2019 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for all your wisdom and encouragement!

    Reply
  2. Sarah
    Sarah
    November 4, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks for encouraging words!

    Reply
  3. James Alston
    James Alston
    November 5, 2019 at 1:10 am

    This is what I needed to keep moving forward to Alaska after a major setback.
    Thanks, Andy

    Reply
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