“Everybody wants to right the world; nobody wants to help his neighbor.”
– Henry Miller, American author
I must confess to being a real sucker for big ideas, whether my own or someone else’s, as long as it is a good idea – and a big one. There’s nothing wrong with that really except for one thing, the success rate for most big ideas is pretty low. Why? Few are willing to invest in the details required to make big ideas succeed.
It is hardly ironic that I discovered the above quote by Henry Miller while reading my small hometown’s weekly newspaper; for contrary to Miller’s assertion neighbors helping neighbors is imbedded in the culture of small communities. If you have ever lived in a small town or experienced other types of small communities – church groups, small work environments, military squads, etc. – you know what I’m talking about.
When I started my coaching business several years ago I was convinced that my job was to help business leaders and executives identify big ideas. I have since discovered an even greater need in helping them implement the details that will make those big ideas successful. For example, do they have the right people on the bus, that is have they hired the best people? And are they in the right seats on the bus? How well are they supporting the people they hire so they are able to perform at their highest potential, to grow and maximize their gifts? Are they building relationships and communicating in ways that motivate and inspire? These are the types of details that make big ideas succeed, things I was fortunate enough to be exposed to at an early age by the fine folks in my small hometown who understand the value of helping their neighbors.
I’m still a sucker for big ideas because like everybody else I want to “right the world”. But big ideas are only as successful as the implementation of the details, the most important being the support of the people surrounding us – a simple concept rooted in the practice of helping our neighbors.