Life lessons through literature | St. Lawrence University Career Connections

Life lessons through literature

Sunday, July 31, 2016

As my time at Viable Options is coming to a close, I realized that my natural instinct is to look back and try to gather up what I have done in order to achieve a sense of accomplishment. This is not the internship for that. Just yesterday in our book club meeting, we were reading the chapter of Good to Great called the “Flywheel and the Doom Loop”. We have these meetings twice a week to relate what we took from the readings of the how-to book for becoming a great organization as opposed to simply a good one. The analogy of the flywheel was to imagine moving a massive flywheel with the end goal of having it continuously spin as fast is it can. It is not one mere great push that meets this goal, but rather continuous small pushing that can seem difficult, lengthy, and maybe even unnecessary at times. Some notable quotes of reflection from companies that were deemed ‘great’ were, “I am not sure that we knew exactly what we were fighting for until we looked back and said that we were fighting to establish who we were going to be” and “It’s impossible to think of one big thing that would exemplify a shift from good to great because our success was evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary” (Collins p171).


This not only applies to the culture of discipline that we are developing at Viable Options to enable long terms results, but are also guidelines to live my everyday life. What I’ve done at Viable Options is conduct cultural investigations, write up reports on my findings, translate all of their materials, and create a coherent Spanish version program of their program that can also be applied to any other language. Long-term, the potential for how many this could impact is rather great.


Currently, as with any startup, I am not seeing immediate results of my work. I think this is a smart lesson to take with me as I begin to move forward and leave this remarkable summer behind. Good to Great has served not only as a guide for how to run a company, but also for how to be successful in life. It speaks of discipline, accepting the hard facts, finding your passion and how to use it, and numerous more similar lessons. As I prepare to leave St. Lawrence University behind and enter the ‘real world’, I have not only a phenomenal internship to add to my experience and resume, but also lessons learned both in the office from my coworkers, my work, and the book, that I will take with me as I start the next phase of my life.