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Spring Edition
Volume 98, Number 4

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Off the Shelf Classics (continued)

David Brandt
DAVID BRANDT ’85 is head coach of Messiah College’s national champion men’s soccer team.

Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals
Timeless truths and fresh perspectives challenge more than just our business sense

When people find out that my undergraduate major at Messiah was business administration, they are always surprised. They know me as a college soccer coach, and—at first glance—the two don’t seem to go together! But knowing my background in business might explain my interest in Jim Collins’ best-selling book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t, a fascinating look at how and why some organizations have become intrinsically excellent.

While the book admittedly contains a few business case studies about things like market share, stock values, and portfolios, it also contains a bevy of timeless principles and truths that can be easily related to all walks of life. People I’ve talked to about the core concepts of the book are intrigued by unique ideas like the “Stockdale Paradox” (confronting reality), “Hedgehog Concept” (transcending the curse of competence), “Flywheel” (momentum), “Doom Loop” (generating new program after new program), and even “rinsing your cottage cheese” (a euphemism for being excessively thorough)! Add to that the fun acronym “BHAGs,” which stands for “big, hairy, audacious goals,” and you’ve got the makings of more than just your average book about big business.

Stating in the book’s very first sentence that “good is the enemy of great,” Collins’ thoughts and key concepts fly directly in the face of many of our culture’s assumptions, and the book is a must-read for anyone involved in a business, school, church, or any other group of people!

—DAVID BRANDT ’85 is head coach of Messiah College’s national champion men’s soccer team.

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