Do you regularly ask yourself, or others, to “do something great”? Or do you think that just getting by is good enough? Or perhaps, like me, you don’t really think about it. But we should. Perhaps I thought about it more when I was still working than I do now that I am retired. But even then, I’m afraid, that though I may have set lofty goals, I was too often satisfied with any performance, as long as it wasn’t failure. Strive for Greatness (Jesse Lyn Stoner) shares a story about Abraham Lincoln in which he described a sermon as “the content was excellent; he delivered with elegance; he obviously put work into the message,” but it was not an “excellent sermon” because it didn’t “ask us to do something great.”
It’s true that we can’t all be as great as Abraham Lincoln, but it’s also true that we can strive for greatness, and expect greatness from our libraries, our organizations, our employees, our families, and ourselves. Stoner’s post lists 7 Keys to Greatness to help us do just that. I can’t choose one that resonates the most with me. Perhaps it is “See it through to the end. Don’t settle for less than you are capable of.” But a reply to one of the post’s comments really hits home, I think, and I ask you to keep in mind: “I never saw a vision statement that said, ‘Dare to be mediocre,’ yet too many are focused on beating the competition instead of daring to be great.”
Definitely food for thought for me, and I’m going to try to start striving for greatness, and asking others to do the same. How about you?