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Good Is the Enemy of Great

This week I had the real pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Jeremy Raley, Superintendent of The Goochland School District.  Dr. Raley was gracious enough to take the time to meet with me to talk about the schools, their relationship with the Board of Supervisors, what he sees in a good Supervisor and much more.  The time flew by.  

At one point in the conversation a couple of thoughts dawned on me.  

Dr. Raley

First, Dr. Raley has a tough job. He shared that while Goochland School District has risen to be a leader in so many areas within the region as well as the state, our schools have significant and frankly expensive needs. It was at this point in the conversation when he mentioned a quote recently discussed in meeting he attended, “Good is the enemy of great.” This line, of course, is a quote from the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.  Here’s the full quote:

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government.

Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

Dr. Raley is leading amazing teachers and staff that are producing good, really really good results for our children.  On the flip side there are real needs.  It’s no surprise that our school’s infrastructure, the schools themselves, don’t live up to the quality of the instruction they house.  It’s difficult to make the case that investing more funds is necessary when you’re achieving the results.  Dr. Raley has a tough job but he’s performing it masterfully.

Second, I realized that Dr. Raley’s conundrum is similar to what we see at the county level.  The overwhelming input of the people I speak with while knocking on doors is that we need to keep things going the way they are, keep it rural, keep taxes low and try to bring “convenience” to rural. 

Ken Peterson, District 5 Supervisor is running for his third term.  Under his leadership with the partnership of his fellow board members, they have moved our county from the verge of bankruptcy to the ONLY county our size to have two of the highest attainable bond ratings.  That’s GOOD.  That’s really, really GOOD.  I have heard Mr. Peterson answer the question, “Why are you running again”, no less than a dozen times.  His answer is always the same.  He believes he can go after that third rating… ”the Triple Triple” and then we would be the only county in the country with that rating.  That my friends is the definition of going from GOOD to GREAT.

I want very much to be on the team that accomplishes that and I believe I am uniquely qualified to help make that happen.

I had my team come for a volunteer day at Goochland Cares

When I became a leader at Capital One, they entrusted me with AVERAGE teams and expected me to maintain that level performance.  When I became a GOOD leader they gave me teams that were not performing well and wanted me to make them GOOD teams.  When I became a GREAT leader, they gave me really GOOD teams and expected me to make them GREAT. 

I know in my heart Goochland can be GREAT and I am confident I can be a key part of making that happen.  However, I know that to do that, I need your vote on November 5th. I hope you will plan to come out and vote Neil Spoonhower for the District 2 seat on the Goochland County Board of Supervisors.  

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