July 19, 2023




The Hedgehog Concept, Impactful Relationships & More

At a glance

Good Morning. Welcome to all the new readers of Faster Than Normal who have joined us since last week!

Here’s what we’ll cover today:

Mental Model: The Hedgehog Concept.

Insight: Impactful Relationships

Quote: Thoughtful Foundations.

Question: Tiny Ripple.

Parable: The Scorpion and the Frog.


| Mental Model

The Hedgehog Concept

The Hedgehog Concept, introduced in the book "Good to Great" by Jim Collins, is a guiding principle that helps individuals and organizations focus on their core strengths and passions to achieve long-term success. The concept is based on the intersection of three critical elements: 1) what you are deeply passionate about, 2) what you can be the best in the world at, and 3) what best drives your economic or resource engine. By identifying and committing to this intersection, you can make consistent, well-executed decisions that contribute to significant improvements over time.

Analogy: Imagine a hedgehog that relies on its simple but effective strategy of curling into a ball when facing threats. The Hedgehog Concept is similar in that it encourages you to focus on a straightforward, clear strategy based on your unique strengths and passions, enabling you to overcome challenges and achieve long-term success.

Example: A talented chef who is passionate about cooking healthy, sustainable meals might identify the intersection of their Hedgehog Concept as follows: 1) passion for creating nutritious and eco-friendly dishes, 2) mastery of culinary techniques and knowledge of sustainable ingredients, and 3) generating revenue through a successful restaurant or catering business. By focusing on this intersection, the chef can make decisions and take actions that align with their core strengths, leading to a thriving and meaningful career.

Quote: "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." – Archilochus

To apply the Hedgehog Concept, follow these steps:

1. Identify your passion:

  • Reflect on activities or tasks that bring you joy and satisfaction. Make a list of hobbies, interests, or work-related tasks that excite and motivate you.

  • Ask friends, family, or colleagues for their observations about your passions and interests.

  • Consider activities that make you lose track of time, as they are often good indicators of passion.

2. Determine your strengths:

  • Take a skills and strengths assessment, such as the CliftonStrengths, DISC, or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, to gain insights into your abilities and areas of expertise.

  • Ask for feedback from friends, family, colleagues, or mentors regarding your talents and areas where you excel.

  • Reflect on past accomplishments, projects, or tasks where you have demonstrated exceptional performance or received recognition.

3. Evaluate your economic or resource engine:

  • Research potential revenue streams, job opportunities, or resource-generating activities that align with your passions and strengths.

  • Speak with people in your desired field or industry to gain insights into the economic potential of various roles or projects.

  • Create a simple business plan or financial projection for your chosen path, taking into account potential income, expenses, and resource requirements.

4. Focus on the intersection:

  • Draw three overlapping circles on a piece of paper, with each circle representing one of the key elements (passion, strengths, and economic engine).

  • Write down your findings from the previous steps in the corresponding circles.

  • Identify the area where all three circles overlap. This is the intersection you should focus on.

  • Develop a plan or set of goals that align with this intersection. Break down your goals into smaller, manageable steps or milestones.

By embracing the Hedgehog Concept and focusing on the intersection of your passion, strengths, and economic engine, you can achieve enduring success through a series of well-executed decisions and actions that build upon one another over time.

| Insight

The relationships you cultivate will impact your life in profound ways.

Challenge: Reach out to a friend, family member, or colleague you haven't spoken to in a while, and schedule a time to catch up.

Example: Send a thoughtful message to an old friend, asking about their life and expressing your interest in reconnecting.

| Quote

Nancy Kline, a leadership and communication expert, on the power of listening:

"The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do first."

| Question

What is one small act of kindness I can perform today that might positively impact someone else's life?

A Parable I Enjoyed

The Scorpion and the Frog (Source: Unknown)

A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog is hesitant, fearing the scorpion will sting it, but the scorpion argues that if it stings the frog, they'll both drown. The frog agrees, but halfway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. As they sink, the frog asks why, and the scorpion replies that it's in its nature.

Lesson: be cautious of the innate characteristics of others.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, all.

Until next time,


Interested in starting your own newsletter?

The Faster Than Normal Newsletter

Join 70,000 others receiving timeless ideas to break from normal.

Delivered twice weekly to your inbox

Wednesday and Saturday

100% free

You're in!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We won't send spam. Unsubscribe at any time.