This month's issue of Success Magazine contains a fantastic article on Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, including a preview of his upcoming book, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul (affialiate link).
In the CD that comes inside the magazine, publisher Darren Hardy interviewed noted leadership expert, John C. Maxwell. Here is one of the things John said: “He who is big on the inside will, over time, become big on the outside. He who is small on the inside will, over time, become small on the outside.” This morning, I shared that quote with a small business owner who is dealing with a tough leadership issue. It seemed to encourage her greatly, so I wanted to share it with you too.
The quote reminds me of the tale of the tortoise and the hare — you know. The hare starts quickly, bopping around and using all of his energy to show off. He comes out of the starting blocks strong. The tortoise, on the other hand, puts one slow foot in front of the other slow foot, and eventually wins the race. In some tales, the hare finishes last and pretty much all washed up, and in others, he doesn't finish at all. Either way, he loses.
As small business owners, we can choose to do a lot of things fast and in a showy hurry, taking all kinds of shortcuts and trying to force everyone to look at how big and fantastic we are. On the other hand, we can choose to act methodically and strategically, putting one careful foot in front of the other, building a brand, creating a platform, executing a plan.
I'd rather be the tortoise than the hare any day. I'd rather be big on the inside, even if it never results in being big on the outside.
Questions: Are you the tortoise or the hare, or something in between? Have you noticed that being big on the inside helps to create a positive influence, while being big on the outside does the opposite?