You have to make a choice: The 5 ingredients of greatness

by Terry Jackson

Those who are Committed to their vision create High Expectations and Execute Brilliantly.

“Greatness has a price called Commitment, It ALL or Nothing.” Terry Jackson, Ph.D.

Greatness, a word we hear often as we think of leaders, athletes, intellectuals, movies, books etc.  Greatness a word if asked to define many would have a hard time defining. If asked for a formula for Greatness, more than likely, no two formulas would look the same.

After searching and reviewing several definitions for Greatness this is the best definition I could find:

Greatness is a concept of a state of superiority affecting a person, object or place. Greatness can also be referred to individuals who possess a natural ability to be better than all others. The concept carries the implication that the particular person or object, when compared to others of a similar type, has clear and perceivable advantage.

“One does not become great by claiming greatness.”  Xhosa Proverb

Greatness is not elusive. Greatness can be attained by all but one must know the path, process or formula to achieve Greatness. After giving it a great deal of thought and many hours of conversation with friends, I have developed a formula to achieve Greatness.  The Greatness Equation:


1.  Choice is the first ingredient of Greatness and serves as the driver of the Greatness equation. When one chooses or selects Greatness they have made a conscious decision. This also means that one has decided that chance will not play a part in life. They made a CHOICE to be GREAT! Making a Choice means weighing alternatives and identifying a CHOICE that is right for one self. Choice also means that one accepts 100% accountability and responsibility for their decisions and quest for GREATNESS.  After a CHOICE is made to become Great one must possess CLARITY as they start the journey toward GREATNESS.

2.  Clarity is the second ingredient in the recipe to attain Greatness. Clarity means that one is clear as to their journey. They have an understanding that they want to be Great. They have Clarity of purpose, Clarity of mission, Clarity of goals, Clarity of plans and Clarity of direction (Greatness), thus they spend no time running in circles covering the same old ground, over and over. They get ahead, simply because they have Clarity of Vision, Clarity of Values and Clarity of Direction. Once Clarity has been established on must act with Conviction.

3.  Conviction is the third ingredient to attaining Greatness. Conviction, having a firm belief in one’s self, is crucial in the journey to achieve Greatness. Conviction is needed and must be absolute. Unwavering Conviction indicates that one is doing the RIGHT thing and is on the right path. This Conviction helps one find unique new ways to ferret out new opportunities every day to achieve Greatness. This unwavering Conviction gives one absolute self-confidence and self-efficacy which leads to an optimistic view that the future will be filled with Greatness. To achieve Greatness an unwavering commitment is also needed.

4.  Commitment is the fourth ingredient to achieving Greatness. Unconditional Commitment is needed to achieve Greatness. Those who are Committed to their vision create High Expectations and Execute Brilliantly. Greatness understands the definition of the word “commitment.”  When pursuing Greatness Commitment is the ingredient that helps one keeps his/her PROMISE to themselves and others. They understand that a COMMITMENT is a PLEDGE to DO, to become emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically BOUND to action. Those who want to attain Greatness take ALL their commitments seriously.

5.  Courage is the final ingredient in the Greatness equation. It takes COURAGE TO ACT.  Taking the actions necessary to overcome human inertia and their circumstances, real and self-imposed requires Courage. Courage mandates that one make every single minute matter. While a fair amount of good old fear, uncertainty and doubt may exist, Courage enables one to ACT in spite of it. By proactively engaging Courage many mountains can be climbed and GREATNESS can be attained.

The ingredients within the GREATNESS equation are of equal importance. This equation is a systems approach to attaining GREATNESS. All of these ingredients are teachable and learnable. Everyone can be great, it’s a CHOICE. Only you can CHOOSE to be GREAT. What are you waiting for?


Terry Jackson is an accomplished, experienced and dynamic Certified Executive Coach, Leadership Development Coach, Life Coach, Sales Trainer, Business Coach and Consultant.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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