Steve Blackwell, RLS,
Director of Engineering
Of late, I have been considering the leadership attributes noted by Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t.In it, Mr. Collins documents a consistent pattern that was noted in organizations that have made the transition from merely good to great.
In short, he noted that the great ones have embraced the “Hedgehog Concept”.At the risk of oversimplifying, this means the ability to focus on one core ability with absolute clarity.In the case of the small European mammal, this is the ability to roll into a tight ball with spines out.This simple action, which he executes at will to absolute perfection, provides him the ability to forage at his leisure:it is the essential act of being a hedgehog.
For organizations seeking to find their “hedgehog” focus, Collins goes on to define a methodology based on three circles of interest:1) “What are you passionate about?”;2) “What can you be the best in the world at?”;and 3) “What drives your economic engine?”.Answer those three questions, and position your organization in the intersection created by overlapping the circles, and you will be well on your way to creating a great organization.
With the recent public opening of the International Center for Birds of Prey, it is my sincere hope and belief that Jim Elliott has taken a huge step toward completing the third circle—of the first two there can be no doubt—and that the Birds of Prey Center will happily reside in the intersection of the three for years to come.
Having met Jim in 2003 and established a friendship with him through the many difficulties of bringing the Center to its current position, I can simply say that it couldn’t happen to a nicer, more humble, or more deserving guy or for a better cause, saving these magnificent birds.
All the best to Jim and the Center, and sincere wishes for continued growth and success.