Aspiring to greatness

In The Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi indicates that "To know ten thousand things, know one well".

As a B2B agency with a particular expertise in the energy sector and business-to-business communications, Fifth Ring embraces the idea that there is a significant benefit to specialisation. This idea is foundational to our agency as we aspire to greatness.

The overarching lesson? You simply cannot attain greatness if you try to be all things to all people. Over the years, I have learned a few additional lessons in the quest for greatness that apply equally in work and in life.

Never rest on our laurels.

We all know those people (and companies) that live on their glory days, never recognising that the entire world has passed them by while they revel in the past.  We work in an ever-changing world where our previous, wildly successful ideas and efforts quickly become outdated. We must keep learning, changing, growing and pushing ourselves.

Recognise our strengths and embrace our weaknesses, then surround ourselves with others who balance these strengths and shore up our weaknesses.

This is a simple one.  Know what you are good at . . . and what you are not.  I spent a good amount of time in my early years trying to improve on one deficiency or another, sometimes to the detriment of what I did well.  While I continue to strive to be better at my weaknesses, I also know my limitations and seek out the help and support of those around me who excel in these areas. I love it when I look around the staff at the Houston office and realise that what each of us brings to the table is slightly different and yet very complementary.

Evaluate and learn from our failures. Embrace change.

One of the hardest things as a parent or as a supervisor is to allow your child or an employee to fail when you see it coming and know you can prevent it. Often though, failure is the best teacher and helps to create a path for change that leads to even greater success in the long run. Challenging yourself to greatness involves experiencing failure while remaining open to the change and growth that inevitably follows.

Recognise that sometimes 'good enough' is actually the best option.

Mind you, I’m not advocating mediocrity here. However, sometimes our time, energy and expertise provide greater value to our clients, family and friends when they are focused elsewhere.  Knowing when to say 'enough already' is truly a talent in and of itself.

Lastly, recognise that aspiring to greatness is a process, not a destination.