Hedgehog Mentality

I am currently reading a book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. It is about public companies that have produced great results relative to competitors starting in similar positions and the stock market in general. It attempts to boil down a formula for why some companies and leaders are great and how a company can work towards achieving greatness.

I’m almost done with the book and have garnered insights around creating a “hedgehog” mentality and focus that will ultimately lead to greatness. In essence Collins is saying the great companies who were able to produce extraordinary results had a narrow focus based on 3 principles:

  1. What you are deeply passionate about?
  2. What can you be the best in the world at?
  3. What drives your economic engine?

At the center of these 3 things is what ultimately leads to a hedgehog mentality that set up great companies. There are other factors that I think resonate throughout the book and takeaways around leadership, building a great team, facing hard truths, and creating a culture of discipline to name a few. Ultimately I think this concept of a hedgehog mentality is applicable not only in business but your personal life.

I like it much better than when growing up you are told to follow your passion and the money will come. Or what is the #1 thing that you are passionate about. That is a challenging question for anyone to answer because we are all passionate about different things at different points in our lives. Being able to recognize not only what you are passionate about, but also to start defining that based on the other two questions allows you to create more meaning and purpose in your life.

For example, I am passionate about real estate. Can I be the best in the world at real estate? Unlikely. Now I currently do technology sales and am passionate about the impact my company has on our clients. Can I be the best salesperson and advisor to my clients in the world? Possibly. What drives my economic engine? It is driven by me consistently delivering value to clients and converting potential customers through exposing them to how my company can help them solve their business challenges.

At the center of those 3 metrics I can find my hedgehog focus for the near term. – Long term I am focused on defining my real estate ventures further that will allow me to come up with a Hedgehog mentality to be the best in my niche.

Jim Collins Quote


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