In Leadership, Good Enough Is Pretty Bad
By Brent Filson
Friday, March 11, 2005; 4:00pm EST
Summary: Having a "good enough" attitude is a serious stumbling
block for leaders. Such an attitude allows them to avoid the hard
work of finding better ways to accomplish things. Leaders will be
more accomplished, and will accomplish more, when they eschew "good
enough" and adopt an attitude of having a "powerful dissatisfaction"
with the way things are.
The first time I meet a leader to decide if we should work together,
I invariably ask one question. The answer to that question gives me
an idea of whether we'll have a productive relationship. The answer
also tells me how the career of that leader might turn out.
I ask, "Are you satisfied with the results you're getting now?"
It's a simple enough question, yet it points to a world of
difference between leaders. Because if the answer is "yes" then our
meeting will be brief. We'll quickly go our separate ways. My
leadership methods can't help a satisfied leader, a leader who lives
by "good enough." Those methods can only help if that leader has a
powerful dissatisfaction with the results h/she is getting now.
To understand this, let's go back to basics: Leaders do nothing more
important than get results. If you can't get results, you won't be
leading for long. Somebody who can get results is always waiting in
line to take your place. If "good enough" is okay with you, you are
the next best thing to somebody who can't or won't get needed
results. So, "good enough" is your enemy, "powerful dissatisfaction"
I'm not saying that you should go around in a funk powerfully
dissatisfied with everything and everyone. You'd be a royal pain.
What I am saying is results should be seen not as an end in and of
themselves but part of a natural process to get more. Powerful
dissatisfaction does not have to be a downer. It can be a joy. The
joy of having the opportunity and privilege of thinking anew and
acting anew. To be powerfully dissatisfied, one must be relaxed,
open, caring, and humble. Banishing "good enough", embracing
"powerful dissatisfaction" becomes a profoundly enriching way not
only of being a leader but of living one's life.
So, take a joyful, powerful dissatisfaction into your leadership
activities and see the difference it makes in your interactions with
others and in results.
About the Author
2005 � The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved. The
author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP
TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT
LEADERSHIP TALKS. For 2 decades, he has been helping leaders of top
companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free
leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn
Action Into Results," at