A wise fox learns the ways of the hedgehog…

If you’re familiar with The Hedgehog and The Fox, you know that the hedgehog revolves around one known truth, and the fox around many. The hedgehog is focused, and strategizes around that “one thing”, while the agile fox uses multiple strategies, many time uncoordinated and unrelated.

In Good to Great, Jim Collins uses this analogy to describe how some companies become great, and others never realize their goals. He says, “Those who built the good-to-great companies were, to one degree or another, hedgehogs. They used their hedgehog nature, to drive toward what we came to call, a Hedgehog Concept, for their companies. Those who led the comparison companies, tended to be foxes, never gaining the clarifying advantage, of a Hedgehog Concept, being instead, scattered, diffused, and inconsistent.”

In other words, focusing on one thing that you do best, that you are passionate about, gives you a strong competitive advantage against the fox in business. The hedgehog constantly sees victory in business over the fox because they drive their business around that focus.

Are you a hedgehog? Do you know what your focus is? Is it the right focus?

Collins asks these three questions to help you find your focus:

The idea is to find that one thing that you are good at, you are passionate about, and you can make money doing. Then define a strategy on how to do it, and follow through. Stay away from those things that you are only mediocre at, or better yet, know nothing about. There is someone else out there who knows it better, loves it more, and will be more successful at it. You have to find your own. 
Tip of the day…if you’re a fox, it may be wise to learn the ways of the hedgehog.
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