Mediocrity to Effectiveness to Greatness
by John McCann
Being effective as individuals and organisations is no longer optional in today’s world – it’s the price of entry to the playing field.
But surviving, thriving, innovating, excelling and leading in this new reality will require us to build on and reach beyond effectiveness.
The call and need of a new era is for greatness. It’s for fulfilment, passionate execution, and significant contribution.
Find Your Voice
EVERYONE CHOOSES ONE of two roads in life. One is the broad, well-travelled road to mediocrity, the other, the road to greatness and meaning.
The range of possibilities that exists within each two destinations is as wide as the diversity of gifts and personalities in people.
But the contrast between the two destinations is like night and day. The path to mediocrity straitjackets human potential. The path to greatness unleashes and realises human potential. The path to mediocrity is the quick-fix, short-cut approach to life.
The path to greatness is a process of sequential growth from the inside out. Travellers on the lower path to mediocrity live out of ego, indulgence, scarcity, comparison, competitiveness and victimism. Travellers on the upper path to greatness rise above negative cultural influences and choose to become the creative force of their lives.
One word might be used to express the pathway to greatness – Voice. Those on this path find their voice and inspire others to find theirs. The rest never do.
Voice is the voice of the human spirit – full of hope and intelligence, resilient by nature, boundless in its potential to serve the common good.
Voice is unique personal significance – significance that is revealed as we face our greatest challenges and which makes us equal to them.
Voice lies at the nexus of talent – (your natural gifts and strengths), passion (those things that naturally energise, excite, motivate and inspire you), need (including what the world needs enough of to pay you for), and conscience (that still, small voice within that assures you of what is right and that prompts you to actually do it).
When you engage in work that taps your talent and fuels your passion – work that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet – therein lies your voice, your calling, your soul’s code. There is a deep, innate, almost inexpressible yearning within each of us to find our voice in life.
Inspiring Others to Find Their Voice
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those who rekindle the inner spirit” – Albert Schweitzer
Man’s Search for Meaning
Deep within each on of us there is an inner longing to live a life of greatness and contribution – to really matter, to really make a difference. We may doubt ourselves and our ability to do so, but it is important to firmly believe that you can live such a life.
You have the potential within you. We all do. It is the birthright of the human family.
A man’s father had recently passed away. When the father was on his deathbed, he called his wife and son to him to say goodbye. He could barely speak. His wife wept during the entire visit; the son drew down close to his father and his father whispered into his ear, “Son, don’t do life like I did. I didn’t do right by you or by your mother and never really made a difference. Son, promise me you won’t do life like I did.”
Those were the last words the son heard from his father, who passed away shortly thereafter. But the son regarded them as the greatest gift and legacy his father could have ever given him. He made his mind up then and there that he was going to make a difference – in every area of his life. The son a colonel in the army was about to retire but chose to stay on and make a difference.
Adapted from Covey, S.R. The 8th Habit From Effectiveness to Greatness
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