Good is the Enemy of Great!

By: , September 18, 2007 | General & Editorial Advice

Too often people are satisfied with merely being good instead of striving to be great. Tom Dowd discusses how companies that demand greatness also command success.

By Tom Dowd of HealthLabs, HealthLabs LLC | The Science of Healthy Profits 1-866-866-3693 | Reprint by permission of author only.


Too often people are satisfied with merely being good instead of striving to be great. I am a passionate believer that you should not accept something until it is at its best…I want and expect…WOW, I have goose bumps, that is the best I have ever seen!! The large number of people who are very excepting and even thankful for good is staggering. That product looks good…I think the site looks good…that is a good idea, the problem with these statements is that people STOP thinking of ways to improve what they are doing when they hear that the end result was acceptable. A “good” result implies success and therefore an excuse to stop working or thinking. Being good is the mental stop point for a large and growing group of people who never see the potential for improvement or opportunity to do more.

A new client just stated to me that the ads they are running are working “OK” for them…and that they are signing-up to re-run them. I naturally asked why an “OK” ad response was OK with them. I also asked what I could do to help make the ad great…so they could expect great results. He was very open to this and as we spoke, it became obvious that the “standard bar” was set at “good” for many levels in this successful company. I point out “successful” company because I find that this “good” set point can be found in businesses across the board, small and large, successful and struggling! The key is to minimize sub-par thoughts and actions and set a high standard where greatness is expected at every level. The most successful and growing high-energy companies I have dealt with expect and even demand more. This is why, in part, companies like Wal-Mart and Microsoft are successful in very competitive markets. Their leaders set the “great” standard and hold everybody’s feet to the fire! The next time your staff reports to you that something is good…tell them that’s unacceptable and see the reaction you get! Reset their standard bar of acceptance from good to great, and challenge them to bring you only their best going forward…your hope is that the idea of a new and higher set point will spread like a wild fire.

Many times something starts out great and turns to good or even worse. In my business (product manufacturing of natural supplements), a formula may be great one day and outdated the next. A label design may look very “cutting edge” and “hip” one day, then you look at it in a year and it is dated. It may have been great once, but you must keep challenging and reviewing so it stays great. The other side of this is when something is not even good, and the “baby is thrown out with the bath water.” This often happens in marketing… “The ad does not work”…They toss the whole ad campaign without reviewing contributing factors, such as the location it was run, the timing of the run and number of times it was run. Very often in marketing, a slight change in ad text or overall look of the ad can have a huge impact on its success or failure. A fantastic ad can be placed in the wrong magazine or website with horrible results, yet with the right audience it is a home run. You must not only strive to start out great, but also continually tweak and review what you are doing in order to stay great. When you have good marketing results, keep working and looking at your ads in different ways until you get the greatest results possible. When it is great…you will know it by the results, feedback and even your gut.

Expecting great can drive your partners crazy in daily life…My wife must live with me “having” to pointing out to supermarket store manager what they can do to improve sales, like NOT running out of cooked chickens EVERYDAY for months by 12:15. All I wanted was one for lunch, but than I “must” point out (really cheering him up) why he should walk the floor more often to see what is going on! Should we expect great in everything…My answer is yes! Is it easer to accept good most of the time…Sadly yes! However, why should you have to? This is a big part of the downfall of many “good” companies and holds people back in their careers. I often wish employees would ask themselves… “Did I do or even try to do a great job today?”

Is good always bad…no! A good cup of coffee hits the spot…a good night sleep is fine! However, when it comes to business, great should always be expected and your business standard. If you’re in charge and you set the tone and allow good…good will be the best you should expect to get! The goal must be great for any business and great should be the business standard in today’s tough marketplace to standout, be successful and excel to greatness!

Yours in Healthy Profits,
Tom Dowd

Tom Dowd is the President of HealthLabs, a leading contract natural supplement manufacturing and consulting company and founder of SellMark a direct marketing company based in Spring Hill Florida. Visit or call 1-866-866-3693 today.

© HealthLabs LLC Published with permission from the author.

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