The salt of greatness

11 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
The salt of greatness

The Sunday Mail

Milton Kamwendo

Hunt for greatness

GREATNESS is never an accident. It is intentional. The future is too important to be left to chance.

It needs focus, discipline and endurance. Greatness is a journey that requires seasoning with salt along the way.

Striving for greatness will always change you. You are great when you accept the call to change, grow and improve as you pursue a noble vision.

Max De Pree, the CEO of Herman Miller, put it well when he said: “In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”

This is why you need to understand and apply the “SALT” principle of greatness.

The “SALT” of greatness is a tool that I developed. It refers to the four important elements that help you on your journey to greatness. These are: Strategy, Assessments, Leadership and Technology. These elements are important at both individual and organisational levels.

Strategy — Blueprint of greatness

Greatness is not a game of luck or mere hope without intentionality. Hope alone is not a strategy. It is important to make an assessment of your context, capabilities and clarity of vision. This allows you to develop a clear, actionable strategy.

A strategy is not just blind imitation. A strategy requires you to face the brutal facts of your situation without losing hope. Obstacles are the fearful things that you see on your path to greatness. Ignoring reality and hoping that the obstacles will go away is not a strategy.

Hoping that things will solve themselves is not a solution.

The essence of a strategy is not just to play in order to be seen to be playing. It is to play to win. You need to identify the issues that are critical to you. Define your priorities and a clear gameplay.

Your strategy is a game plan that tells you where you intend to play, how you intend to play and what you will do to strengthen your capacity to play. A strategy and tactics are the key to greatness. A strategy is the broad direction and tactics are the pathways.

Assessments — Watch the gauge

The essence of greatness is to measure what matters. Winning at the game that does not matter is not greatness. It is important to make assessments and measurements.

Numbers will make you sober up. Feedback is the breakfast of all greatness. Sun Tzu, in the “Art of War”, has this exhortation: “Act after having made assessments. The one who first knows the measure of far and near wins. This is the rule of armed struggle.”

Make assessments and these help to inform your action. Know yourself. Know your competition. Know the terrain.

Sun Tzu also gives this sobering advice to inspire you in your assessments: “The terrain leads to measurements. The measurements lead to estimates. The estimates lead to calculations.

The calculations lead to weighing the options. The weighing leads to victory.” Keep an open mind and learn and improve. Keep making assessments and this will help you in calibrating the action you take.

Leadership — Pushing action

Everything will always rise and fall on leadership. Do not look far. The call of leadership is to embrace vision, influence action and deliver results.

There is no greatness without effective leadership.

Leadership is the critical difference. Leaders make things happen. Poor leaders watch things happen. Pathetic leaders wonder what is happening. Greatness is delivered through leadership.

Leaders develop and support vision. They chart the way to the future. Leaders confront the brutal facts. They encourage the heart and take the heat. Leaders focus on critical elements that help develop positive momentum.

To foster great leadership, look back at what has happened to learn and not to apportion blame.

Be open to learning and being taught. Value the feedback that you get from those you lead. Feedback always fuels progress.

Technology — Embracing the future

Technology is about hardware and software tools and gadgets. You should have a mindset of challenging the status quo and desire to do more in a better, faster and cheaper way.

There are a number of barriers that might hinder you from adopting technology solutions. These include fear of the new, isolation, ignorance and naivety.

Keep challenging yourself to do better. Look at your processes with a view to improve them.

Challenge the way you do what you do. Dare to demand more from yourself. Take small steps forward, then a few more. Keep learning and growing.

Keep asking the important question: What is not yet perfect?

Today’s excellence is tomorrow’s mediocrity. Keep raising the bar and demanding more from yourself.

Greatness is not a destination but a journey. Wake up every day determined to be better than you were yesterday. Dare to make a difference and be the difference.

Committed to your greatness.


 Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author and accomplished workshop facilitator. He is a cutting-edge strategy, team-building and organisation development facilitator and consultant. His life purpose is to inspire and promote greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected]


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