The Greatest Enemy of Greatness

As the tides of the housing market rise, many businesses are breathing a sigh of relief after the hard years of the downturn. But there are dangers in the “comfort zone.” Recently delivered a speech to our sales team as a challenge against complacency, and in support of ProVia’s core value of Continuous Improvement. Here we share a few excerpts you may find inspiring.

ProVia CEO Bill Mullet

The Greatest Enemy of Greatness

A good question many business leaders ask themselves is “What keeps me awake at night?” Well for me, this answer is simple – it’s the comfort zone. We all know that the greatest enemy to being great is “being good,” a place where we’re comfortable. The comfort zone, I believe, is the greatest enemy to our passion. We can become so comfortable in this zone that we lose our passion, especially passion of quality and service.

I believe at ProVia we’re “the best of the best.” This should make me happy, right? But what keeps me awake is that we know that we’re good, and that could keep us from getting better.

Dangers of the Comfort Zone

When we get into our comfort zone, we relax and feel secure. We’re not afraid of challenges because they don’t exist. In our comfort zone, we’re in control, we’re familiar. We can predict tomorrow because as someone once said, “We cut and Paste” today. We get what we want without much effort. This is the reason many people don’t like change, because they’re comfortable and change destroys comfort.

With fast-changing technologies, products, processes, customer requirements and market opportunities, it’s suicidal for a business to sit on its laurels. We must continue to innovate and evolve. We must adapt new and better technologies, new and better products, new and better techniques, new and better processes, new and better styles, new and better services. What worked yesterday may not necessarily work today, and probably won’t work tomorrow.

Embrace the Uncharted Terrain

We should apply these ideas to our personal lives as well. The moment we become comfortable and satisfied with “who I am,” passion dies and we lose the desire to improve ourselves. But we can always find ways to get better. Let’s make sure we embrace the uncharted terrain. It may be tough, the road may be rocky, it may be uphill – but let’s embrace it.

Do we want to live a full successful life? Then I challenge us to expand our boundaries. When we stretch and reach a goal, stretch a little bit more. In doing so, you’ll not only reinvent yourself but also our business and our customers, and we’ll contribute to making the world a better place to live.

Relentless Discomfort with the Status Quo

Let me conclude by simply saying this: that the comfort zone will take us and any other company to its demise. We can never let that happen. We must never become too comfortable. We must have a relentless discomfort with the status quo and say, “We’re going to the next level.” We’ll help each other get there. As we work together, I believe we’re going to be unstoppable.

I want to thank all of you for being unstoppable. For working together, for supporting each other and doing the job we’re called to do. Thank you!

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Comments 6

Guest - Chris Lansing on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 08:04

A well written talk to associates from the CEO. I share the same concerns for our company. I, too, believe we are good, but sometimes we think that is good enough. In a very competitive industry, we must continue to strive for improvement. The role of the CEO is to create visibility to the rest of the company of his vision. As we have become busier, the noise of our daily business often overshadows the quest for excellence. Thankfully, we have an off season where we can recalibrate, refresh, and renew the mission of the business. Well done!

A well written talk to associates from the CEO. I share the same concerns for our company. I, too, believe we are good, but sometimes we think that is good enough. In a very competitive industry, we must continue to strive for improvement. The role of the CEO is to create visibility to the rest of the company of his vision. As we have become busier, the noise of our daily business often overshadows the quest for excellence. Thankfully, we have an off season where we can recalibrate, refresh, and renew the mission of the business. Well done!
Guest - Paul DeGrandis on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 08:43

Great personal and professional reminder. Thank you.

Great personal and professional reminder. Thank you.
Guest - Dave Gelo on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 17:04

Awesome - Thank you

Awesome - Thank you
Guest - John Moulder on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 21:20

Mr. Mullet's thoughts are on point.
I was taught long ago:
"A magnitude of sales can lead to a multitude of sins."
Complacency may be the most common fault in management/ownership of a business.
John C. Moulder, Owner
True-Line Products, LLC
LBM-Millwork Distribution Sales, Est. 1973
Indianapolis, IN

Mr. Mullet's thoughts are on point. I was taught long ago: "A magnitude of sales can lead to a multitude of sins." Complacency may be the most common fault in management/ownership of a business. John C. Moulder, Owner True-Line Products, LLC LBM-Millwork Distribution Sales, Est. 1973 Indianapolis, IN
Guest - Linda Standiford on Thursday, 09 October 2014 15:50

Wonderful article!!! I want everyone that I work with to have this attitude.
Thank you!!!

Wonderful article!!! I want everyone that I work with to have this attitude. Thank you!!!
Guest - Toni Carnes on Monday, 13 October 2014 12:52

Mr. Mullet is contagious in what he said! Change/growth is always possible.
In the past, I wondered how I could improve my relationship with my
employers; it was not as professional as it could be. I believe that if your not part of the solution, your part of the problem.
I changed my attitudes and very soon the transformation brought forth a multitude of new ideas, I suggested some changes that allow us to step up our outward/public/professional appearance. We now work more like a Professional Corp. teamed together for a common goal." Our Customer is our Best Advertiser, let's make sure Customer Service and Satisfaction be our Utmost Goal on a daily basis."

Mr. Mullet is contagious in what he said! Change/growth is always possible. In the past, I wondered how I could improve my relationship with my employers; it was not as professional as it could be. I believe that if your not part of the solution, your part of the problem. I changed my attitudes and very soon the transformation brought forth a multitude of new ideas, I suggested some changes that allow us to step up our outward/public/professional appearance. We now work more like a Professional Corp. teamed together for a common goal." Our Customer is our Best Advertiser, let's make sure Customer Service and Satisfaction be our Utmost Goal on a daily basis."
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Friday, 25 May 2018