Good Enough Is Not Enough


“Good enough” is the biggest deterrent to “Great.” What does your organization promote and reward? Good or great?

These questions were inspired by a conversation I had recently with a client. We were discussing personal and corporate culture and I was (sincerely) complimenting him on his team—and their accomplishments.

He said one thing he encourages his entire team (including management) to do is go for greatness, and mentioned the above phrase. He quickly added that he didn’t come up with it. 

Through the “all knowing, all seeing” Internet platform known as Google, I found out the phrase comes from a poem by The “Original” Mike Smith from called “Good Enough Is Neither.”

With so many cutbacks in personnel, and everyone doing the jobs of three or four people, is your team just getting by—or are they trying to do their very best on a daily basis? Are your managers helping or hindering the effort? 

In the industries your shows and events serve, are you doing the very best to help the companies who participate in them survive and even thrive? Or are you still doing stuff the way you’ve been doing it for decades and just raking in the bucks?

Is your organization about CYA, or is it about innovation? Are people encouraged to come up with new ideas and not penalized should they fail? Or are they stifled?

The simple fact is most people will stop at “good enough.” There’s no push or reward from most organizations to take the extra step to go the extra mile for Great.

What’s your organization’s M.O.?

(Editor’s note: Below is the poem mentioned above in its entirety.)

Good Enough

By “Original” Mike Smith

All too often “good enough” is where the “weak hearts” stop.

It keeps the very best in them from rising to the top.

“Enough” implies just getting by, and “good” falls short of best.

So “good enough” is average stuff and seldom meets the test.

But you don’t have to settle there; you have what it takes.

Push yourself to do your best, it’s how you get the “breaks.”

Remember that the choice is yours, and you alone choose either,

but those who win are those who know that “good enough” is neither!


Stephanie S. Selesnick, CEM, is President of International Trade Information, Inc.,and a longtime global exhibition industry specialists helping U.S. show organizers increase international participation in their exhibitions and clone shows overseas. You can follow her on Twitter at @stephselesnick.

Stephanie S. Selesnick is president of International Trade Information, a longtime global exhibition industry specialist helping U.S show organizers increase international participation in their exhibitions and a well-known speaker and trainer. Follow her on Twitter @stephselesnick.  ... View all articles by Stephanie Selesnick →