Are you a fox or a hedgehog? by Rex Maughan
I recently returned from another fabulous World an Asian Rally in beautiful Hong Kong. What a spectacular city! I enjoyed the time I had to spend with so many of our top leaders from around the world. I am truly inspired by your energy, passion and devotion to the Forever business. With only the African Rally remaining, our final regional rally season is drawing to an end. This will close an important chapter in the history of Forever as the regional rallies have long been a part of our culture. However, as I have touched on several times over the last year, this change has been carefully considered, discussed and analyzed, and I believe it is important as we continue to develop and grow as a company. It is the right time to move to our new Global Rally strategy, and I believe it will create even more excitement in our Distributors around the world.
During my recent travels, I have been reading the classic business management book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. Mr. Collins and his team spent years researching why some companies transition from being average to great and how other companies fail to make this transition. They discuss lots of reasons for this important transition, but I was struck by one in particular that they call “the hedgehog concept.” This refers to how the top managers in a company lead their business – either as a hedgehog or a fox.
The fox is in a hurry to get ahead. He rushes around, from one great idea to the next. He is always interested in the next big thing, something that might make his business a lot of money. The fox has something to prove, and he disregards the consequences, he is easily distracted and is constantly working out new schemes. Doesn’t this sound like a lot of the MLM businesses that continue to sprout up, only to disappear in a few short years as they are unable to sustain their fox-like efforts?
The hedgehog, on the other hand, moves in a slower and more deliberate way. Any decisions he makes are a result of careful consideration about what is best for the business. If a new idea will not blend well with the business is already doing, it is discarded. Although he is open to new ideas, and will tweak his plan and his business, here or there, there are no huge unnecessary changes. He takes everything one step at a time, and concentrates on what he does best. Now that sounds like Forever as we have steadily but continuously grown throughout the world for more that 33 years.
With his constant energy and willingness to try anything that might improve the company, many would think that the fox would come out ahead. He sets himself and his business up for success by being able to try new things. This is not the case, as it turns out. The fox has no real long-term goals, and does not have a clear vision of the direction he wants his business to head in.
With his slow and steady course, the hedgehog’s business will come out ahead. He sets goals that are worth reaching for, and a plan for how to accomplish them. He has become an expert at what he does, and knows how to let others be experts at what they do. He knows what is best for his business, and he tries his best through being choosy about new methods, to make improvements.
Consistency is key. This is true in any business – from multi-billion dollar corporations to Forever distributorships. As you look at your Forever business, I challenge you to find those basic principles and activities that you need to do every day, every week and every month.
Certainly the technology that drives our business has changed with the Internet and instant global communication, but given all of that, I want you to remember that a truly great business in Forever is built one person at a time. As you recruit and retain great people, as you expand their involvement and develop them into leaders, you must help them understand the basic principles that create great businesses.
I know as you follow this simple principle that it will make a real impact on your business. Think often of the deliberate and consistent hedgehog, and hold your course to creating greatness in all that you do.