I am an avid reader. I love to learn. Chances are you do too. I think everyone in our tribe would call themselves a life-long learner with perhaps more than a little pride. It wasn’t until I started writing the introduction to my book and examining my hopes for the reader that I realized that the goal is not the learning–-it is in the doing of what you learned.
Why is it that millions have read the terrific insights of Jim Collins’ Good to Great but they haven’t applied them? Or they tried to but it didn’t net them a great company?
Is our challenge to learn new things or to learn how to apply new principles to our existing business? Obviously, it is the latter and it is harder than it sounds.
Companies grow into their current state. It takes time. Just like an old tree, the roots of current systems and people go deep and are woven into the very foundation of the business. Changing it, applying new principles, requires disruption. Not necessarily in infrastructure but most certainly in mindset. As a leader are you prepared to start the disruption and be the flame-keeper into the future? Are you able to look objectively at the business you built and accept that the decisions that were right in the past are not necessarily right now?
For the business to evolve, change must start with the leader who then must inspire the rest. Learning is essential to the process but winning takes more—it takes the courage to change and the persistence to stay the course.