October 15

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Facing the Brutal Facts

Good to Great is a brilliant book by Jim Collins. It's more than a book. It's a comprehensive study. 

Collins and his team studied several pairs of businesses over a five-year span. Businesses that were in the same industry and started in the same place.

Over these five years, something interesting happened with each pair.

While they were starting from the same place, one business would thrive while the other plateaued or failed. Jim wanted to know why.

What were the key differences between the two businesses that caused only one to rise from good to great?

A key finding was that the thriving companies were able to face the brutal facts.

If a product failed, the successful business would say it like it is, admit the failure, ditch the product, and course correct.

The failing business would make all kinds of excuses, live in denial, and continue trying to make the failure work. All to the business's detriment.

I'm sure you've seen this in a variety of settings. Probably people who struggle facing the brutal facts. 

It's not fun to face the brutal facts. That's for sure.

But it's also the fastest path to success.

This extracurricular activity is taking way too much of my time.

I'm not getting enough sleep, and it's making me feel like $#@!.

My co-workers are treating me like garbage.

This project I've been working on the past two years hasn't attracted any attention.

When you face the brutal facts, you can lift the weight from your shoulders, pivot, and take a new course towards a more exciting future.

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About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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