This concept is taken from an old Greek parable about a fox and a hedgehog. "The story goes about the simple defense strategy of the hedgehog: rolling up into a ball the fox cannot attack. Despite the array of strategies it tries, the fox is never able to slay the hedgehog." (taken from Andy Bunarto's book review of Jim Collins' Good to Great.) What is the Hedgehog Concept? Check out these videos from Jim Collins.
- What is the Hedgehog Concept?
- Journey to finding a personal Hedgehog Concept.
- Your personal Hedgehog Concept - who vs. what.
Developing a hedgehog concept is a very powerful way to find authentic validation for who we are, what we're about, and how we can really impact the world with greatness. But there are a lot of things that get in our way of discovering and experiencing this life changing way to live and lead. Fear, jealousy, anxiety, worry, comparison just to name a few. So if we want to do like a hedgehog, it is absolutely essential to neutralize and eradicate those feelings of 'not being or doing enough'.
How do we do that?
Love is the virtuous gift that will cast away those terrorist-emotions. But let me qualify this love. It is courageous and vulnerable to pursue the truth about why we do what we do. It also brings to light what we feel when things go south and we fall into the fight, flight, or freeze mode. It's common to not want to think or talk about that stuff but that only keeps us from moving forward towards greater success and fulfillment, especially in what matters most - our relationships with those who make life worth living. As we grow a disposition that doesn't settle for default or instinctual perceptions and responses, a disposition that isn't afraid to navigate and engage the messy, painful (seemingly impossible to change) parts of our lives, we move forward with increased clarity and greater visibility into what's real. This love is willing to make the tough choices to change perspectives and deal with things with humility, mature capacities and resourcefulness, rather than child-like defaults. When we grow our awareness of [internal] things that get in the way, we can then effectively manage them rather than being under their enslavement.
Being empowered by courageous vulnerability, this love leads us to discover and embrace the truth with compassion because that is what the real big picture of our lives cries out for, not the lies of shame and loneliness. With this change in perspective, our hearts will sense God's empathy and release from the critical self-judgment or insecurities from focusing on what we don't have enough of. This frees us to see ourselves as worthy of love and acceptance without the need to be or do what we've always thought we needed to be or do.
Now back to doing like a hedgehog. To process the data points of our lives and come up with a single, unifying idea to better organize and lead ourselves, requires our learning channels to be wide open and our brains to make connections with all the data gathered and processed. Fear shuts this activity down. Empathy is the key that frees our brains to do what it was meant to do - powerfully process life's data points with wisdom to live and love greatly. Without those debilitating emotions of fear, anxiety, worry, jealousy, envy, we will gain so much more clarity about who we are, what we're truly worth, and what life really is about. Living with this great, loving acceptance and hope, will enable us to organize and prioritize in the most meaningful ways that unite our mind, soul, and spirit to do what we were made for. This is how we can develop growth mindsets for any and every area of life that we want and need to improve to find fulfillment. This is the level of health that will liberate us to do like a hedgehog - synthesize what we know about ourselves and abilities to develop a single, unifying understanding of what we're passionate about, what we can be the best at, and what will drive our economic engine.