Measuring Stick

My friend Diana Dyer introduced me to this amazing organization called Small Giants.  

It's an organization full of companies that choose to be great instead of big. In their words: "We are a community of Small Giants: Companies who define success by not only their bottom line, but by their contributions to their community, dedication to great customer service and the creation and preservation of workplace cultures of excellence."


I love this idea, I love how they are changing the conversation about success.


In conversation I'm often asked whether I really believe that every human being is capable of greatness.


"Really, Heather? You really think that everyone can make great art? Everyone?".


Yes, yes I do.


We don't have a greatness problem, we have a measuring stick problem.


Our hesitation to embrace a world where everyone succeeds has a lot to do with the way we currently measure success.


In a world where greatness is defined by getting the best grades, going to a famous college, getting a big job and making a lot of money - in this world, there have to be losers.  If we're all scrambling for a spot in elite institutions, well that scramble only makes sense if there are fewer spots than there are people.


The scramble only makes sense if there are ultimately people who get left out in the cold.


In our current system, there are always people left out in the cold. People left with jobs they hate, people left in middle management, people left in poverty.


This has been our story about success for the past 150 years: few winners, many losers.


There could only ever have been one Henry Ford. Period. By definition.


But what about a world of Small Giants? Can we build a world where everyone runs a small company with a great culture that contributes to its community and stays in business?


Why yes, I think we can.