Over the years I’ve read a lot of books, blogs, articles and papers. Some information sticks with you. But a lot simply fades away like a politician’s promise.

But one story I read years ago stuck with me. I think it was in Chunka Mui’s book “Unleashing the Killer App.” (really good book … )

The story is:

Two men are walking through a forest.  Suddenly, they see a tiger in the distance, running towards them.  They turn and start running away.  But then one of them stops, takes some running shoes from his bag, and starts putting on the shoes.

“What are you doing?” says the other man.  “Do you really think you can run faster than a tiger wearing those?”

“I don’t have to run faster than the tiger,” he says.  “I just have to run faster than you.”

The idea of not needing to be the “best”, but needing to be “better than”, has kept me moving forward and focused on progress, instead of perfection.

There are some naysayers, like Jim Collins, who wrote in “Good to Great”: (note: the content in his book hasn’t aged well …)

Good is the enemy of great.

And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.

I get his point. But good is the next step toward great, and suggesting that one should ONLY focus on great means, IMO, you never get anything accomplished. You can’t always leap a canyon in a single bound. 

Be Gooder

The point is this.

Don’t even try to design the perfect program.

Design a good one.

And another good one.

And another good one.

Use your platform as a way to get better.

While you’re out there experimenting, your competition is in an infinite meeting debating how many award points can fit on the head of pin. And, while they are still deciding whether to have Jimmy Johns or Subway for lunch, you’ll be closing sales and learning new ways to engage your audience.

You’ll be getting better by being gooder.