Good to Great

By Steven D. Vold, MD

I am saddened by how dysfunctional the US leadership has become. The state of the national economy remains tenuous, and the recent government shutdown was destructive. As a business owner, I appreciate the challenges of developing an outstanding organization. Just hiring highly capable individuals possessing a strong work ethic and a positive attitude is a major accomplishment.

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins discussed the results of an extensive corporate analysis evaluating the characteristics of highly successful organizations.1 From his perspective, moving from good to great requires sustained excellent results, lasting concepts, and an enduring, high-functioning company. He broke the process of transformation into three components: (1) disciplined people, (2) disciplined thought, and (3) disciplined action. A proper culture is built on freedom and responsibility within a structured framework, he said.

Organizations rise and fall on the quality of their leaders. Interestingly, Collins found that self-effacing, quiet, reserved, and even shy directors often performed better than high-profile bosses with big personalities. Superior leaders focus first on getting the right people on the team, individuals who do not need to be managed. Determining what needs to be done next then becomes clearer.

Ultimately, the success of a business depends on how good you are at your core business. A culture of discipline is also mandatory; it eliminates bureaucracy and, combined with entrepreneurship, fosters superior performance. Technology does not transform a company, but it can certainly accelerate business success.

In the words of President Harry S. Truman, “You can accomplish anything in life, provided you do not mind who gets the credit.” Top-level executives build enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. They focus not on aggrandizing themselves but on building a great company. They demonstrate ferocious resolve and rely principally on inspired standards, not inspiring charisma, to motivate the team.

This edition of Glaucoma Today focuses on secondary glaucomas. Over the years, I have discovered that effectively managing patients with these challenging diseases goes a long way to building a successful referral clinical practice. Providing the best care for these patients demonstrates excellence at a glaucomatologist’s core business. My hope is that this issue of GT will give readers practical information for their pursuit of greatness in glaucoma care.

Steven D. Vold, MD

Chief Medical Editor

  1. Collins J. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t. New York, NY; HarperCollins Publishing, Inc.: 2001.

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About Glaucoma Today

Glaucoma Today is mailed bimonthly (six times a year) to 11,519 glaucoma specialists, general ophthalmologists, and clinical optometrists who treat patients with glaucoma. Glaucoma Today delivers important information on recent research, surgical techniques, clinical strategies, and technology.