Good to Great

lead with people Aug 07, 2023
Jack of all Trades




When I was a kid, I thought my dad could do everything. He was fun, played sports and could fix anything. My dad was a builder, so that meant that I spent time during my childhood on jobsites. I watched him turn piles of dirt into foundations and ultimately giant buildings.

When the car broke down, my dad would take it apart and figure out how to fix it. When an appliance broke down at our house, he did the same thing. He took it apart. Looked over everything and somehow fixed it.

My dad used to tell me he was the Jack of all trades, master of none.

Maybe that’s why I have tried for so long to be good at many things?

Yet, we can’t be good at everything. And we definitely can’t be great at everything.

When it comes to being great at our craft, many of us struggle. We struggle because we want to not only be good, but we want to be great. And we want to be great at many things.

I don’t know many leaders who are okay with settling for just being decent at something. Especially communicators. We really want to be great.

We want to be both the charismatic, upfront leader, and the hardnose decision maker. We want to be great at teambuilding and we want to be fantastic at building healthy budgets, and profit and loss statements. We want to lead killer presentations and we want to get the laughs at a comedy club.

The reality is, we just can’t be great at everything. There are many things that you and I have been gifted at doing. But, what tends to happen overtime, is that we find out we are extremely gifted in one, two or three of those areas.

Here’s a wake up call and possibly a dose of reality for you:

You are better than you think you are.

Now, there are some of us who have a deep struggle with an abundance of pride and overconfidence and you probably didn’t need to hear that. But, for the rest of us, we seem to not have enough confidence and at times have trouble believing this. And this belief, that we are better than we think, is why we haven’t become really great at our craft.




We spend way too much time listening to the demons and the negative voices in our heads. These voices remind us of our failures, blowing them way out of proportion. Those moments that we have failed seem to loom on repeat, holding us back from moving forward, and prevent us from becoming great.

Many of us live and operate life in the good zone.

Why become great when good seems to be enough? Why put in the hours it takes to become great when I can get a passing grade with good? Why put in the extra hours honing my signature talk when I can connect deeply enough without the extra work?


We do things just good enough to get by and we never experience the thrill and sense of accomplishment that comes from being in the great zone.

Don’t settle for just being good enough. Become GREAT!

Every leader has the potential to become great at the thing that they are gifted at doing.

As his son, I’ll never forget witnessing my dad learning a new skill that brought him into the great zone. I grew up watching and working with my dad as we remodeled homes and built additions and poured new driveways. He was very good at all of those skills. I wish they would have passed on to me!

But everything changed the first time he built a piece of furniture.

I hope you read that slowly enough to understand the significance of what I said. He built a handmade piece of furniture.

No, this was not a bird house or a wobbly end table. And it wasn’t from IKEA. He built a beautiful desk. The lumber was pieced together with special joints and the end product was absolutely stunning.

Every single member of our family took a giant step back and realized that my dad left the good zone and he was squarely in the great zone. This was self-taught and before youtube. He has gone on to build numerous beautiful, handcrafted pieces of furniture that are now family heirlooms. 

This begs the question, what are you truly great at? Maybe it’s something you don’t even realize yet, but you have been wondering if you could be. Or maybe it’s something that everyone has been telling you, that you were great at it, but you haven’t put any time into it yet? Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to go from being in the good zone to the great zone.




For me personally, I’ll never forget the day that a mentor and leader, Rolly Rickard, sat me down and said, “Jason, it’s time for you to choose. You are very good at both music and speaking. But, it’s time to be great at one of them.”

He pushed me towards speaking because he believed that’s where I could become great. That was 20 years ago and it was a great decision.

How to find your area in the great zone

  1. Ask yourself these questions: What is my greatest passion? What is the one thing that you would like to do over and over and over? What is the area of your life that fills you up more than anything else? What have others confirmed in you that would be in the great zone? Take out a big sheet of paper or white board and write down your answers.
  2. Pick your craft.  Look through your answers and find the commonalities. Make a list of three different things it could be. Stare at the list. Think about the list. Then decide what’s the one that you could never let go of and that you have a red hot passion for, that’s your craft. Need help figuring it out? The Life Design Program walks you through this process.
  3. Run it by those closest to you. Just because we’re passionate about something, doesn’t mean that it should be our craft. You want to find where your passions and abilities intersect. Ask those closest to you what they see in you. Is it your passion area and are you already very good at it? If they nod their heads up and down, well, bingo. 

Now you have your craft! Now you’re ready to move from the good zone to the great zone.

In those 20 years since my conversation with Rolly, I have been able to speak to more than 150,000 people from stages all across the country. That’s incredible for me to think about! Back then, I never would have imagined that kind of impact was possible. But, that is what is available when you move from the good zone to the great zone.

Let me leave you with one last thought.

My dad was a very good builder. My dad was very good at a lot of things. But, when he started making handmade furniture, that’s when he went to the great zone. His pieces of art, that’s what they are to us, will be a part of our family for generations to come. That’s what can happen when you decide to really become great at your craft.

If you make this decision to move from the good zone to the great zone, and really become great at what you do, you will start leaving a legacy through your craft.


By Jason Raitz - Founder & President, Speak with People

Jason has spoken from over 500 stages across the country. With over a quarter of a century of speaking experience, Jason has gone from "good" to "great" and coaches communicators to improve their communication.